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Earth Structure Essay

4012 words - 16 pages

Composition and structureEarth is a terrestrial planet, meaning that it is a rocky body, rather than a gas giant like Jupiter. It is the largest of the four terrestrial planets in size and mass. Of these four planets, Earth also has the highest density, the highest surface gravity, the strongest magnetic field, and fastest rotation, and is probably the only one with active plate tectonics.Earth is unique among the known planets: it has an abundance of water. Other worlds including a few moons have atmospheres, ice, and even oceans, but only Earth has the right combination to sustain life.Earth's oceans cover about 70 percent of the planet's surface with an average depth of 2.5 miles (4 kilometers). Fresh water exists in liquid form in lakes and rivers and as water vapor in the atmosphere, which causes much of Earth's weather.Earth has multiple layers: the crust, mantle and core. Credit: NASAEarth has multiple layers. The ocean basins and the continents compose the crust, the outermost layer. Earth's crust is between three and 46 miles (five and 75 km) deep. The thickest parts are under the continents and the thinnest parts are under the oceans.The sky and oceans are blue, the grass is green, the mountains range from red to a snow covered holistic white, and the inhabitants that live on it range quite drastically in every single aspect of body, soul, and mind. It is roughly 4.54 billion years old, has a mass of 5.9736 x 10 to the 24th and its spherical diameter is roughly 12,742 km. This giant ball of planet is known as the Earth. The earth consists of very simplistic yet never before seen strata's that make up its composition. The strata's are broken down into three categories: crust, mantle, and the core. The first layer of the earth is the crust, which is what we as humans actually live on. Even with all of the weight of all the machines, buildings, people, houses, and oceans the crust of the earth makes up less than 1% of the entire mass of the earth! The crust is generally broken into two groups the oceanic crust, and the continental crust. Since us humans live on the crust itself, many scientists and geologists have worked extensively together in order to figure out and understand the earth's crust. The actual material that makes up the crust is primarily crystalline rocks made out of low-density minerals. The second layer of the earth is known as the mantle, which is generally very thick and is located in the middle of the earth's composition lying between the crust and core. The most accurate and frequent way of interpreting the purpose behind the mantle is by studying the earth quake waves, as they help us understand the mantles purpose and its composition. The mantle which roughly accumulates for 84% of the earth's total mass is a zone of extremely high temperature level rocks. It is presumed by most scientists that the mantle is the layer responsible for tectonic plates moving. The chemical composition of the mantle is iron and...

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