The English word earth is used to translate the Hebrew words, pronounced eh-retz (meaning to be firm, or land), and ad-aw-mah (from which Adam is derived, meaning red soil, or land), and the Greek word pronounced geh ( meaning soil, or world). The term can be used in a large (e.g. the planet earth) or small (e.g. a hand-full of earth) way. Earth is the only one of the nine planets with a given name in English that did not originate from Greek or Roman paganism; it's derived from a Germanic and Old English word which is identical in meaning to the ancient Biblical word, a fact that may not be at all coincidental.
Some Earth Facts and Statistics
- The earth is approximately 93 million miles / 150 million kilometers from the sun.
- The earth is the 3rd planet out from our star, the 5th largest of the nine planets in the solar system.
- The mass of the earth has been estimated to be 6 sextillion, 588 quintillion tons.
- The Earth is the densest major body in the solar system.
- Due to the centrifugal force of its rotation, earth bulges slightly at the middle, making the earth's equatorial diameter (7,926 miles / 12,760 kilometers) a little greater than its polar diameter (7,900 miles / 12,720 kilometers).
- The earth's axis is inclined at an angle of 23.5 degrees in relation to the plane of its orbit, which is the cause of the seasons.
- The earth orbits the sun at an average speed of 18.5 miles per second / 30 kilometers per second - about 67,000 miles per hour / 109,000 kilometers per hour.
- The atmospheric temperature on earth ranges widely from -125 to +136 degrees Fahrenheit / -88 degrees to +58 degrees Celsius.
- About 70% of the earth's surface is covered with water. The Pacific Ocean covers about 70 million square miles / 180 million square kilometers and has half of the earth's water. The total surface area covered by water may increase if the planet continues to warm, which will cause melting of the polar ice caps.
- The velocity required to escape earth's gravity (i.e. for spacecraft) is about 7 miles per second / 11 kilometers per second.
- The earth's crust varies greatly in thickness, the least beneath the oceans, the most under the continental land masses. The crust is solid, while the internal layers are pliant or near-fluid due to high temperatures, which at the core may be as high as the surface of the sun.
- The earth's chemical makeup is estimated to be 34.6% iron, 29.5% oxygen, 15.2% silicon, 12.7% magnesium, 2.4% nickel, 1.9% sulfur and 0.05% titanium
- The earth's atmosphere is about 77% nitrogen and 21% oxygen, along with trace amounts of argon, carbon dioxide and water
- Carbon dioxide resident in the atmosphere plays an important role in regulating the earth's atmospheric temperature, by means of the "greenhouse effect."
- The surface features of the earth are actually younger than the earth itself due to erosion and tectonic activity which recycles the elements e.g. mountains have not existed from the beginning, they were created by uplifting forces as the tectonic plates collide (see Earthquake!), and they will eventually (in millions of years) erode away.
Fact Finder: How long ago did God create the earth?
See The Seven Days Of Creation