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Ten things you don’t know about the Earth

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posted on Jun, 12 2012 @ 05:07 PM
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Cool things that we don't know. I won't reproduce all of them as you can see them in the whole original article, but I selected three of them that are really surprising....

1- The Earth is smoother than a billiard ball.


Maybe you’ve heard this statement: if the Earth were shrunk down to the size of a billiard ball, it would actually be smoother than one. When I was in third grade, my teacher said basketball, but it’s the same concept. But is it true? Let’s see. Strap in, there’s a wee bit of math (like, a really wee bit).

OK, first, how smooth is a billiard ball? According to the World Pool-Billiard Association, a pool ball is 2.25 inches in diameter, and has a tolerance of +/- 0.005 inches. In other words, it must have no pits or bumps more than 0.005 inches in height. That’s pretty smooth. The ratio of the size of an allowable bump to the size of the ball is 0.005/2.25 = about 0.002.





The Earth has a diameter of about 12,735 kilometers (on average, see below for more on this). Using the smoothness ratio from above, the Earth would be an acceptable pool ball if it had no bumps (mountains) or pits (trenches) more than 12,735 km x 0.00222 = about 28 km in size.

The highest point on Earth is the top of Mt. Everest, at 8.85 km. The deepest point on Earth is the Marianas Trench, at about 11 km deep.

Hey, those are within the tolerances! So for once, an urban legend is correct. If you shrank the Earth down to the size of a billiard ball, it would be smoother.

But would it be round enough to qualify?


But..... wait....shouldn't the Hawaiian volcano Mauna Kea be the highest point on Earth? (See point n°3)



2- The Earth is getting more massive..20-40 tons a day...


But space is littered with detritus, and the Earth cuts a wide path (125 million square km in area, actually). As we plow through this material, we accumulate on average 20-40 tons of it per day! [Note: your mileage may vary; this number is difficult to determine, but it's probably good within a factor of 2 or so.] Most of it is in the form of teeny dust particles which burn up in our atmosphere, what we call meteors (or shooting stars, but doesn’t "meteor" sound more sciencey?). These eventually fall to the ground (generally transported by rain drops) and pile up. They probably mostly wash down streams and rivers and then go into the oceans.





40 tons per day may sound like a lot, but it’s only 0.0000000000000000006% the mass of the Earth (in case I miscounted zeroes, that’s 2×10-26 6×10-21 times the Earth’s mass). It would take 140,000 million 450,000 trillion years to double the mass of the Earth this way, so again, you might want to pack a lunch. In a year, it’s enough cosmic junk to fill a six-story office building, if that’s a more palatable analogy.

I’ll note the Earth is losing mass, too: the atmosphere is leaking away due to a number of different processes. But this is far slower than the rate of mass accumulation, so the net affect is a gain of mass.



3- Mt. Everest isn’t the biggest mountain...


The height of a mountain may have an actual definition, but I think it’s fair to say that it should be measured from the base to the apex. Mt. Everest stretches 8850 meters above sea level, but it has a head start due to the general uplift from the Himalayas.





The Hawaiian volcano Mauna Kea is 10,314 meters from stem to stern (um, OK, bad word usagement, but you get my point), so even though it only reaches to 4205 meters above sea level, it’s a bigger mountain than Everest.

Plus, Mauna Kea has telescopes on top of it, so that makes it cooler.

edit on 12-6-2012 by elevenaugust because: spelling...




posted on Jun, 12 2012 @ 05:29 PM
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THough the Earth is not spherical, it is an oblate spheroid, the surface roughness is smoother than the most precision ball bearings that can be made. This is counting the distance from the Marianas Trench, deepest part of the oceans, to the top of Everest. It is still smoother than we can make any precision ball bearings.



posted on Jun, 13 2012 @ 01:16 AM
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Forgive my stupidity.....
edit on 13-6-2012 by Wewillrise77 because: Missed the link...



posted on Jun, 13 2012 @ 01:20 AM
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reply to post by elevenaugust
 


Ermmm...I knew this one, already:


1- The Earth is smoother than a billiard ball.


(and, a few of the others.....guess we both watch, and are interested in, the same sorts of science programs, articles, and such?).

Heh, Heh....
for the thread!



posted on Jun, 13 2012 @ 02:03 AM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Jun, 13 2012 @ 02:10 AM
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As for the 20-40 tons a day weightgain ,wouldnt the amount of material thats removed and converted into ejected or burnt material counter the obesity. Like satellites,explosives,burning wood and coal etc.
Not that it matters anyway as the earth just a great place to be no matter how fat and smooth she gets
edit on 13-6-2012 by 12voltz because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 13 2012 @ 02:19 AM
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edit on 13-6-2012 by dayve because: (no reason given)


+1 more 
posted on Jun, 13 2012 @ 02:26 AM
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Originally posted by AK907ICECOLD
reply to post by elevenaugust
 


You said ten not three "things."

Im yet another gullible ATSer reading a mis-leading thread, sigghhh.


If you read correctly, you automatically become less gullible...



posted on Jun, 13 2012 @ 02:33 AM
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Here is another one.
Technically, Gold is worth more at the poles than it is at the equator.



posted on Jun, 13 2012 @ 02:45 AM
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its not as smooth as a ball- look for the word "if".

Last time I heard.. The earth looked like a big booger without its atmosphere.



posted on Jun, 13 2012 @ 03:48 AM
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Originally posted by charlyv
Here is another one.
Technically, Gold is worth more at the poles than it is at the equator.

Yes, that's a good point!

And here's why:


Rotation of earth around itself causes a centrifugal force on things, which is on the opposite direction of gravity and causes to decreas of weigh of them. This force is more stronger in equator, so weight of a thing in there is a littie lighten then the weight of the seme thing in other point of the earth.

The escape from center force causes that while a thing has 1000gr weight in the pole, it will be 996gr in the equator. in other words, we see about 4gr decrease per kilogram.
Thats, one person with 70kg in the pole, will be 69.7kg in the equator. The latitude of the pole is 90° and 0° for the equator. If we transfer a thing with 1kg from latitude of 45° to the equator difference of weigh for per kg will be less than 4gr.

Therefor we see that the changs of gravity on the earth isn't so much and causes in significent difference in thing's weight.


And, (don't laugh!!) but it's the same cause that explain why tall and big animals such as giraffa and elephant can only live in equatorial points of earth
Less gravity in there (little amount) than other places and their heart can send blood to farther distances from the surface of earth. So in practice we see that much little increase of gravity has noteworthy effect in animal bulk.


Let's suppose, an animal has one kg in it's body and it's heart circulates this blood a round in it's body per 10 seconds. Let's suppose we transfer this animal from the equator to a place near to the pole. There, it's blood will be heavier about 4gr. i.e. it's heart must enter 4gr additional force when it wants to cary the blood up and return it. If it did this only once, it hadn't any problem. But the heart of this animal, repeat this over to secondes i.e. 24gr per minute or 1440gr per hour or 34560gr per day and night i.e. the heart of this animal in the pole, must carry 34.5kg more load than equator.


Source
edit on 13-6-2012 by elevenaugust because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 13 2012 @ 05:11 AM
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Sweet balls of awesome!
Man, I hope the owners of ATS recognise what an asset you are to this community ElevenAugust!

If anyone doubts what I say, just take a gander at ALL the threads EA has created for us. All have a quality and all have something really interesting to learn and read and discuss.
I'd never heard the billiard ball analogy before, it really sticks in your mind at how HUGE the Earth is in reality, even though technology seems to have made the world smaller (internet/transportation etc).
We're a damn lucky bunch of numties and I so wish the world could realise how much more important it is than all the stupid issues we have to put up with every day.
The big picture folks.

edit on 13-6-2012 by Qumulys because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 13 2012 @ 06:08 AM
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and ..




its growing!!



posted on Jun, 13 2012 @ 08:50 AM
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reply to post by elevenaugust
 


Point number 3 - I guess it depends on definitions. Continental crust is as thick under the surface as it is over the surface, as a general rule. Therefore Mount Everest could be argued to extend an awfully long way under the surface also.

Get your point though. Interesting thread, thank you.



posted on Jun, 13 2012 @ 08:55 AM
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Originally posted by 12voltz
As for the 20-40 tons a day weightgain ,wouldnt the amount of material thats removed and converted into ejected or burnt material counter the obesity. Like satellites,explosives,burning wood and coal etc.
Not that it matters anyway as the earth just a great place to be no matter how fat and smooth she gets
edit on 13-6-2012 by 12voltz because: (no reason given)

Yes, a lot of matter gets ejected with sattelites and spacecraft. But its not much compared to 40 tons a day. But burning and exploding things does not destroy matter. It changes it. Only a nuclear reaction can liberate matter and convert it to energy....but we have nuclear reactions going on as well...



posted on Jun, 13 2012 @ 09:28 AM
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I'd star and flag the post, but I'm waiting for the other 7 things I didn't know.

Any time frame on when they will be posted?



posted on Jun, 13 2012 @ 09:53 AM
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Oh yeah baby.

More useless facts to amaze and entertain my family and friends with. Thanks for the info I'm adding it to my ever growing pile of info.




posted on Jun, 13 2012 @ 10:29 AM
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Yeah, I'm not entirely sure what you mean by we are gaining mass.... Are we REALLY gaining mass, or is it the debris from human littering? Or is it the debris from us picking up particles in space? Maybe I read it wrong..



posted on Jun, 13 2012 @ 11:29 AM
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reply to post by SephirothsChild15
 


Think about it, and the answers are obvious:


Are we REALLY gaining mass, or is it the debris from human littering?


No...of course not. "Littering" by we Humans involves the same mass that is already here, simply being re-distributed.



Or is it the debris from us picking up particles in space?


Yes, that is the correct answer.

However, although the 'numbers' seem large, to a Human...and on a Human scale....to the Earth? They are minuscule. Over-all. Just think of it in terms of percentages....and also, think that it happens everywhere in the Universe, the Galaxy, and our own Solar System.

Percentages......keep that word in mind.......



posted on Jun, 13 2012 @ 11:31 AM
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reply to post by tyranny22
 



......but I'm waiting for the other 7 things I didn't know.

Any time frame on when they will be posted?



Patience = Virtue (Or, so I've been told....)



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