How Big is Earth?

by Fraser Cain on October 6, 2009

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How Big is Earth?

Blue marble Earth. Image credit: NASA


Here’s a question: how big is Earth? Let’s take a look at how big our planet is.

First, the equatorial diameter of Earth is 12,756 km. In other words, if you dug a tunnel on the equator that went straight down and went right through the center of the Earth, it would be about 12,756 km long. Just for comparison, that’s about 1.9 times the diameter of Mars. And only .09% the diameter of Jupiter.

The volume of Earth is 1.08 x 1012 km3. Written another way, that’s 1.08 trillion cubic kilometers of rock and metal. Again, it’s about 6.6 times more volume than Mars.

The surface area of Earth is 510,072,000 square kilometers. Of that, 29.2% is covered by land and 70.8% is covered by water. Just for comparison, that’s 3.5 times as much surface area as Mars.

The mass of Earth is 5.97 x 1024 kg. Here that is written out: 5,970,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 kg. Yeah, that’s a really big number. And yet, it’s only 0.3% the mass of Jupiter (and Jupiter is mostly lightweight hydrogen).

We have written many articles about Earth for Universe Today. Here’s an article about how fast Earth rotates, and here’s an article about Earth’s magnetic field.

You can learn more about Earth from NASA’s Earth Observatory, as well as NASA’s Solar System Exploration Guide.

We have also recorded an entire episode of Astronomy Cast that’s just about Earth. Listen here, Episode 51: Earth.

About 

Fraser Cain is the publisher of Universe Today. He's also the co-host of Astronomy Cast with Dr. Pamela Gay.

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