Monday, April 23, 2012

Earth: By the Numbers

Yesterday was Earth Day, and today is Mathematical Monday, so I figured I'd put the two together with some stats on this planet of ours.

  • The diameter of Earth is about 7,920 miles. That's nearly 140,000 football fields. If it were possible to drive at highway speeds (say, 75 mph) through the planet, it would take nearly 4.5 days to reach the other side.
  • The mass of Earth is about 6 septillion kilograms. (That's 6 followed by 24 zeroes. I'm going by the U.S. definition of the word—apparently it's different in the U.K.) That's about the same as 165 quintillion empty 18-wheelers. Or the Empire State Building 16,000,000,000,000,000,000 times over.
  • The volume of water on Earth is about 1.5 billion cubic kilometers. That's about 600 trillion Olympic swimming pools. (I think. I don't have my preferred calculators handy.) 97% of that is saltwater in the oceans.
  • So, Earth is pretty big. But if our sun were empty, it could fit over 1,000,000 Earths inside.
Now, while you ponder that massiveness, check out this very cool view of the planet from orbit.

No comments: