The Earth, the Sun, and the Stars

Our Solar System consists of the sun, planets, dwarf planets (plutoids), moons, an asteroid belt, comets, meteors and other objects. The Sun is the centre of our solar system and everything orbits around it.

The Earth is the third planet of our solar system- meaning it is the third from the Sun. Earth is the fifth largest of the eights planets in the Solar System, but the densest. It is the only astronomical body where life is known to exist.

The Earth's terrain varies from place to place. Roughly 71% is covered by water. The remaining 30% consists of mountains, deserts, plains, plateaus and other geomorphologies.

The Earth provides lots of natural resources, which unfortunately humans have been exploiting for centuries. Some of these are non-renewable resources which are difficult to replace in a short amount of time. Humans have access to useful biological products that are produced by the Earth's biosphere. These products include, food, wood, oxygen and the recycling of many organic wastes. The ecosystem that exists on land is dependent on topsoil and water. And the ecosystem that exists below water depends on the Earth's dissolved nutrients.

The Sun is the star at the centre of the Solar System. It is approximately 149.6 million kilometres away from the Earth. It takes about 8 minutes and 19 seconds for light to travel from the Sun to Earth. Almost all life on Earth is supported by the energy of this sunlight. This is achieved via photosynthesis, which is the chemical process of converting carbon dioxide into organic compounds using energy from sunlight. The sun also controls the Earth's climate and weather patterns.

A star is a luminous ball of plasma held together by gravity. The Sun is a star and it is the star nearest to Earth. By observing the spectrum, luminosity and motion through space of a star, astronomers can determine its age, mass and chemical composition.

For creation and sustainability to take place all parts of our ecosystem must work together. Trees play their part by producing oxygen and reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. They also help to moderate temperatures on Earth. Trees serve many additional purposes such as building material from their wood, fruits from their vines, and their aesthetics for landscaping purposes.

To date humans have exploited quite a lot of the planet's natural resources. It is of course normal that we would need and use some of them, but it is our responsibility to be as prudent as we can. We need to keep our world prosperous and beautiful.

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By Tamara_Jacobs