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Planet Earth, our home, is the third planet from the Sun and the fifth-largest planet in the solar system. Many scientists are still hunting for clues about life beyond Earth, but our home planet remains the only place in the universe where they have identified living organisms.  Earth is a world unlike any other, as it is the only one known for sure to have liquid water on its surface. In addition to that, Earth is also unique when it comes to names, as every other solar system planet was named for a Greek or Roman god. For around a thousand years, some cultures described our world through the use of the Germanic word “earth,” which means “the ground.” 
The Earth is made up of four main layers, starting with an inner core at the center, enclosed by the outer core, mantle, and crust. Similar to Venus and Mars, Earth also has volcanoes, mountains, and valleys. Planet Earth is known to have a radius of 3,959 miles, making it the biggest of the terrestrial planets and the 5th largest planet overall.  However, by hearing or reading that size, it is still quite difficult to grasp how big our planet is. If you also would like to envision the size of our planet better, you’re in the right place. In this post, we are giving you more information about how to visualize the size of the planet Earth.
Earth’s Planetary Data
In order to have an idea about the size of the planet Earth, let us start with its planetary data. In the infographic below, you can see various information about the size of our planet.
Aside from the data on the infographic above, there is other important data about the Earth that you should know. One of those is that our planet orbits the sun once every 365.25 days. However, our calendar has only 365 days. This is why we add an extra leap day every four years to account for the difference. Also, even though we can’t feel it, the Earth zooms through its orbit at an average velocity of 18.5 miles per second. During this circuit, our planet is an average of 93 million miles away from the sun. This is a distance that takes light about 8 minutes to traverse. It is defined by Astronomers as one astronomical unit (AU), which is a measurement that serves as a useful cosmic yardstick. 
Every 23.9 hours, Earth rotates on its axis, which defines day and night for surface dwellers. The axis of rotation of earth is tilted 23.4 degrees away from the plane of the orbit of Earth, which gives us seasons. Whichever hemisphere is tilted away from the sun gets winter while the hemisphere tilted closer to the sun experiences summer. 
Components of the Planet Earth
As we’ve mentioned earlier, it is quite difficult to visualize how big our planet earth is just by looking at numbers or measurements. Another way to get an idea about the size of Earth is by learning about its components or what it is made of. Take a look at the infographic below to learn about the components of Earth and how much of them make up the Earth.
How Much of the Planet Earth is Water?
One of the things that Earth is made of is water. Our planet is a watery place. But how much water do you think is there on, in, and above the Earth? The surface of the Earth is covered by about 71% of water. Of all of the planet’s water, the oceans hold about 96.5% of it. In addition to that, water also exists in rivers and lakes, in the air as water vapor, in ice caps and glaciers, in the ground as soil moisture, and in aquifers. Take a look at the infographic below to see how much of the planet Earth is water.
The majority of water on the surface of the Earth, or more than 96%, is saline water from the oceans. Water sitting on the surface of the planet is easy to visualize, which includes streams, rivers, and lakes. However, the unseen water below our feet is also important. This means that there is more to Earth’s water than just surface water, as there is plenty of water beneath our feet.
Did you know that if all of the water on Earth, including oceans, glaciers and ice caps, rivers, lakes, groundwater, and atmospheric water, was put into a sphere, the diameter of that water ball would be about 860 miles? Yes, and that is a bit more than the distance between Salt Lake City, Utah to Topeka, Kansas.  And if you gather all of the freshwater on Earth as a single mass, it is estimated to measure around 1,386 million cubic kilometers in volume.
How Much of the Planet Earth is Land?
There are more than 197 million square miles of area on the Earth’s surface. However, less than 30% of that is covered by land as the rest is water in the form of vast oceans, as we’ve mentioned earlier. Take a look at the infographic below to see how much of the planet Earth is made up of land.
The total land surface area of Earth is around 57 million square miles. In that total land surface area, 33% is desert while around 24% is mountains. Earth has 57% of uninhabitable land from the total land area, which is equivalent to around 32 million square miles. This means that it has around 24 million square miles of habitable land, or equivalent to 15.77 billion acres. 
Earth Layer by Layer
The mountains on our planet rangers tower to the sky while the oceans plummet to impossible depths. The surface of the Earth is indeed an amazing place to behold. However, even the deepest canyon is only a tiny scratch on the planet. In order to understand the size of Earth, you need to travel 3,977 miles beneath your feet. It’s because aside from the water and land that are visible to us, we’ve also mentioned earlier that the earth is composed of four distinct layers. These are the inner core, the outer core, the mantle, and the crust.
On the infographic below, you can see the depth and thickness of each layer of our planet Earth:
The inner core of the Earth is a solid metal ball with a radius of 759 miles, which is about three-quarters of the Moon. It is around 4,000 to 3,220 miles beneath the surface of the Earth. It is extremely dense and made mostly of nickel and iron. The outer core is also made from iron and nickel but in liquid form. It can be found around 3,220 to 1,790 miles below the surface of the Earth.
The mantle is the thickest layer of the Earth, which is around 1,865 miles thick. It starts around 18.6 miles beneath the surface of our planet. The crust is the thinnest layer of the Earth, which is just about 3.1 to 43.5 miles thick. It is also cold and brittle compared to what lies below it. 
Comparing the Size of the Planet Earth
Another way to be able to visualize the size of the planet Earth is by comparing it to other objects, such as the other planets, the sun, and the moon. With this, let us start by comparing the size of the Earth to the other planets in the solar system.
Size of the Earth vs. Size of the Other Planets
The infographic below shows the approximate sizes of the planets relative to the Earth. Outward from the Sun, the planets are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.
The diameter of Jupiter is about 11 times that of the Earth. On the other hand, the diameter of Pluto is a bit less than one-fifth of the Earth’s. 
Size of the Earth vs. Size of the Sun
The sun is at the heart of the solar system, and it is by far the largest object. It holds 99.8% of the mass of the solar system. It is also among the 100 billion stars in the Milky Way. To be able to match the energy produced by the sun, one would have to explode 100 billion tons of dynamite every second, according to NASA.  Take a look at the infographic below to see the comparison of Earth’s size to the Sun.
The Sun is so big that around 1.3 million Earths can fill it up.  If the Sun were as tall as a regular front door, the Earth would be as big as a nickel beside it.
Size of the Earth vs. Size of the Moon
Next, let us compare the size of the Earth to the size of the Moon. When you look up in the sky, it is quite difficult to get a sense of perspective about how big the Moon is. But learning about it can also help in visualizing the size of the planet Earth. Take a look at the infographic below for comparisons.
The diameter of the Moon is 2,159.2 miles, while the diameter of the Earth is 7,917.5 miles. This makes the Moon about 27% the size of the Earth.  In fact, if the Earth were hollow, around 50 Moons would fit inside it.
More Interesting Facts About the Planet Earth
If you want to learn more about our planet, here are some more interesting facts about the Earth that you should know about:
- Earth is not a perfect sphere. Based on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), as Earth spins, gravity points toward the center of the planet, and a centrifugal force pushes outward. However, since the gravity-opposing force acts perpendicular to the axis of the Earth, and the planet’s axis is slanted, the centrifugal force at the equator is not exactly opposed to gravity.
- Did you know that the Earth has a waistline? Gravity pushes extra masses of water and earth into a bulge around the planet. With this, the circumference of the globe at the equator is 24,901 miles. Also, at the equator, you would weigh less than if standing at one of the poles.
- The diameter of the Earth measures 7953.55 miles, making it the 5th largest planet in the solar system.
- The Earth is constantly spinning. It spins as fast as 1,000 miles per hour, depending on where you are standing. When you are at the equator, you will be moving the fastest. However, when you are either at the North or the South Pole, you would, surprisingly, not move at all.
- Sixty percent of the population of the Earth lives in Asia. The continent of Asia has more than 40 countries, and some of these are the most populated countries of all.
- The Earth kind of has other “moons.” Two asteroids named 3753 Cruithne and Asteroid 2002 AA29 also orbit the Sun and are sometimes considered the Earth’s “moons” even though it is really not suitable.
- Billions of people are living on Earth. In 2020, that number was as big as 7.753 billion.
- The planet Earth is about 93 million miles away from the Sun. With this, it takes 8 minutes and 19 seconds for sunlight to reach our planet.
- All across the world, 8.7 million species live on Earth. This includes plants and animal species.
- The atmosphere of the Earth is composed of 77% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, and some traces of carbon dioxide, argon, and water. It is also made of five layers, which are the exosphere, thermosphere, mesosphere, stratosphere, and troposphere.
It is indeed challenging to envision the size of the planet Earth. But through comparisons, computations, and studies, we can somehow feed our imaginations of how big our planet really is. When compared to smaller objects or places, such as oceans, rivers, and states, we can say that the Earth is really big. However, when we think of it in relation to other objects in outer space, such as the Sun and Jupiter, we can also conclude that our planet is really small. We hope this post helped you learn more about how to visualize the size of the planet Earth.
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