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Visual Tour of the Solar System

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Visual Tour of the Solar System - Earth
Earth - Visual Solar System Tour - Earth

Earth - Visual Solar System Tour - Earth

NASA/F.Hasler, M.Jentoft-Nilsen, H.Pierce, K.Palaniappan and M.Manyin
Earth Pictures Gallery
Earth Information

Earth comes from Old English & Germanic. In Roman Mythology, the goddess of the Earth was Tellus - the fertile soil, while the Greek goddes was Gaia, terra mater - Mother Earth. Earth is the only planet whose name is not derived from Greek/Roman mythology and the only planet in our solar system known to harbor life. All of the things we need to survive are provided under a thin layer of atmosphere that separates us from the uninhabitable void of space.

Early philosophy had the Earth as the center of the universe, but Aristarchus of Samos, in the 3rd Century B.C., figured out how to measure the distances to and sizes of the Sun and the Moon, and concluded that the Earth orbited the Sun. This view didn't attract followers until Nicolaus Copernicus, a Polish astronomer, published "On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres" in 1543.

Earth has only 1 natural satellite, the Moon at a distance of 384,000km, with a radius of 1738KM and a mass of 7.32e22kg. However, there are thousands of small artificial satellites which have been placed in orbit around the Earth. Also, asteroids 3753 Cruithne and 2002 AA29 have complicated orbital relationships with the Earth. They're not really moons, the term "companion" is used.

This Image, "Hurricane Andrew" was taken on August 25, 1992 by NOAA GOES-7 weather satellite of the Americas and Hurricane Andrew as it makes landfall on the Louisiana coast.

After we leave our home world, we head farther out in the solar system to Mars.

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