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The surface area of the Earth is 510 million square kilometers or 5.1×108 km2. The Earth is a water heavy planet, so, if you break its surface area into water and land segments, it would look like this: land 149 million km2, water 361 million km2.
Let’s look at how the surface area of the Earth compares to the surface area of the other planets in our Solar System and our Moon.
|Mercury||75 million km2 or 10% of Earth’s|
|Venus||460,000,000 km or 90% of Earth’s|
|Mars||145 million2 or 28% of Earth’s|
|Jupiter||6.2 x 1010 km2 or 122 times larger than Earth|
|Saturn||4.27 x 1010km2 or 84 times larger than Earth|
|Uranus||8.1×109 km2 or 16 times larger than Earth|
|Neptune||7.64 x 109 km2 or 15 times larger than Earth|
|The Moon||37.9 million km2 or 7% of the Earth’s|
Now that you know how the surface area of the Earth stacks up against the other planets in our Solar System, here are a few other interesting facts about our planet.
The Earth is the only planet that is mostly water. Other planets and moons are suspected of having sub-surface water and many have water vapor in their atmosphere, but Earth is the only one with a bounty of liquid water.
Earth’s core helps to protect us from the Sun. The molten core is vital in creating a magnetic field. The magnetic field extends out thousands of kilometers and is referred to as the magnetosphere. The magnetosphere channels the solar wind and the Sun’s radiation around our planet, making it livable.
Earth is the most dense planet in the Solar System. Second in line is Mercury.
As is common knowledge, ours is the only planet known to have life. Several theories abound about Mars, but scientists have proven repeatedly that there are no recognizable life forms on the planet. Many scientists; however, realize that the odds of ours being the only livable planet among the 500 million in our galaxy are remote. They hope that improvements in technology will allow us to find other life in the near future.
The surface area of the Earth makes it about average size for planets within our Solar System. Average is quite acceptable when you look at the harsh conditions elsewhere. For once, it is acceptable to celebrate average.
We have also recorded an episode of Astronomy Cast about Earth, as part of our tour through the Solar System – Episode 51: Earth.