Category Archives: Earth Facts

World Water Day 2019: what’s space got to do with it?

March 22, 2019, is World Water Day. Water is a basic human right. According to the United Nations, Water scarcity affects more than 40% of people (40% !) around the world, and this is projected to increase with the rise of global temperatures. Providing clean water and sanitation for all is a huge challenge.

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25 Amazing Astronomy Facts

As early as prehistoric times, humankind was fascinated by the night sky and all of its beauty. For centuries, philosophers and scholars would attribute magical properties to the bright stars and the Milky Way. In more recent times, we understand better what these mysterious objects are, and we can observe far more than our ancestors – planets, clusters, galaxies, and nebulae.

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Meteor which blasted over the Bering Sea was recorded by a satellite

On December 18, 2018, at around noon local time, a meteor about 10 meters (30 feet) long and weighing more than 1,500 tons, plunged into Earth’s atmosphere. It exploded over the Bering Sea and released energy equivalent to 173 kilotons of TNT – at least ten times more powerful than “Little Boy, the atomic bomb dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Japanese weather satellite Himawari 8 has recorded the fireball of the meteor before it exploded.

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Earth’s atmosphere extends beyond the Moon

According to a new study published in the American Geophysical Union’s (AGU) Journal of Geophysical Research, the geocorona (the luminous part of the outermost region of the Earth’s atmosphere, the exosphere) reaches up to 630,000 kilometers (391,000 miles) away, or 50 times the diameter of our planet. For comparison, the average distance between Earth and the Moon is 384,400 km (238,855 miles). So, the outer edge of Earth’s atmosphere extends far beyond the moon.

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Watch – NASA Explorers: Permafrost

In this episode of NASA Explorers (Season 1 Episode 7), the scientists go back in time – by going underground. In the Arctic, a frozen layer of soil – permafrost, the “permanently” frozen earth – trapped dead plants and animals for thousands of years. As the climate warms, that soil is beginning to thaw, releasing carbon dioxide and methane – two harmful greenhouse gases which contribute to global warming.

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Locations of North Magnetic Pole since 1590

An interesting map showing the locations of North Magnetic Pole since 1590. The North Magnetic Pole moves over time due to magnetic changes in the Earth’s core. Today, the Geographic North Pole (the point in the Northern Hemisphere where the Earth’s axis of rotation meets its surface, the northernmost point on the Earth) differs from the North Magnetic Pole by about 500 kilometers (311 miles).

If a magnetic compass needle is allowed to rotate about a horizontal axis, it would point straight down at the North magnetic pole.

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Polar Vortex is the reason why the winter is so harsh in North America

The polar vortex is a large area of low pressure and cold air surrounding the Earth’s north and south poles. It is the reason why extreme winter conditions are bringing record-breaking cold temperatures to parts of North America.

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Earth without Moon – what would it be like?

The Moon is the Earth’s only natural satellite. It is also the fifth-largest natural satellite in the Solar System and the largest among planetary satellites relative to the size of the planet that it orbits. It formed about 4.51 billion years ago from the debris left over after a giant impact between Earth and a Mars-sized body called Theia (this is known as the Giant Impact Hypothesis and is the most widely accepted explanation of the formation of the Moon). This impact happened not long after the Earth has been formed. But, what if that giant impact never happened? What would the Earth without Moon be like?

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