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Earth Science
The Planet Facts! Part 1



The Planet Facts! Part 1
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   high interest, readability grades 6 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.41

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    oblate, spheroid, structural, oceanic, discontinuity, equatorial, atmosphere, continental, valuable, mass, interior, material, sphere, system, radius, solar
     content words:    Crust Thin, Mantle Layer, Outer Core, Inner Core Center, In The Planet Facts


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The Planet Facts! Part 1
By Trista L. Pollard
  

1     Our planet is unique. We are one of eight planets in our solar system. Yet, Earth is the only planet with liquid water on its surface. We also have an atmosphere filled with valuable oxygen. These are some of the interesting facts earth scientists study. As you may have guessed, there are a lot more interesting facts about our planet.
 
2     If our planet came with a fact label, we would find out that Earth is covered with about 70% water. That means almost 3/4 of our planet is covered with water. This water is called a global ocean. If we were to travel into space and look back at Earth, you would see that the globes in your classroom are very close models. Earth is a blue oblate spheroid or slightly flattened sphere. In fact, if you saw the Earth, it would look as if its poles were flat. The area around the equator would look like it was bulging. This area is called the equatorial zone. You see, the Earth is not perfectly round. The reason for this interesting shape is our planet's movement on its axis. The force from the Earth's spinning causes the poles to flatten. This same force causes the equator to appear to stick out.
 
3     If you could measure the distance around the Earth passing the poles, it would be 40,007 kilometers. This is called the Earth's pole-to-pole circumference. The circumference around the Earth along the equator is 40,074 kilometers. Did you know our surface is mostly smooth? Even though we have some of the highest mountains and deepest valleys, the Earth is not a very bumpy place. If you measured the distance from the tallest mountain to the deepest part of the ocean, it would be less than 30 kilometers. Speaking of the deep, earth scientists have learned more about the inside of our planet during the last fifty years.

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