For an explanation, see the main splats page
SPLATS about the Earth in space
The principles of Earth in space
- The Earth is made up of different layers: the crust, the mantle and the core. The crust is made up of separate tectonic plates that move across the surface.
- Every body in the solar system has an albedo, a reflectivity factor which makes some objects easier to see so long as they are bright, even when they are small.
- All planets have a natural albedo, and this influences their overall temperature. When there are more clouds, the Earth gets colder as more heat is reflected.
- The Van Allen belts are layers of charged particles trapped by the earth's magnetic field, one about 3200 km from the Earth, the other at 15,000 to 19,000 km.
- The Moon takes a lunar month, a little more than 29 days, to make one complete passage around the Earth. The Earth's rotation makes it seem much less.
- Strictly, the Moon does not in fact orbit the Earth, but the Earth and the Moon both orbit a common point in space which is their combined centre of gravity.
- As the Moon works its way around the Earth, relative to the Sun, so we see different parts of the Moon's 'day', from full 'day' to full 'night' and back again.
- Meteors are quite common in space. A meteorite is a meteor fragment that reaches the Earth's surface, but most meteors burn up in the atmosphere.
- An asteroid striking the earth could cause massive extinctions, as has happened before. The impact would produce clouds of dust that would chill the planet.
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