Features, Characteristics and Relationship Factors of the Earth and Moon

Features, Characteristics and Relationship Factors of the Earth and Moon

Features and Characteristics of the Earth

  • Earth is the third planet from the Sun in our solar system.
  • It is the largest of the terrestrial planets in the solar system in diameter, mass and density.
  • Earth’s surface is split into several rigid segments, or tectonic plates, that migrate across the surface over periods of many millions of years.
  • About 71% of Earth’s surface is covered with water, mostly by oceans.
  • The remaining 29% is land consisting of continents and islands.
  • Earth’s atmosphere is composed primarily of nitrogen and oxygen with traces of argon, carbon dioxide, and other gases, which together serve as a protective shield against harmful solar radiation.
  • Unlike other planets, Earth’s unique characteristics include water in liquid form and a relatively stable and hospitable surface temperature, which support life.

Features and Characteristics of the Moon

  • The Moon is Earth’s only permanent natural satellite.
  • It is the fifth largest natural satellite in the solar system.
  • The surface of the Moon is marked by craters, mountains, valleys and dark flat areas known as ‘seas’ or maria.
  • The moon has no atmosphere which means no weather or air for sound to travel in.
  • The lack of atmosphere causes extreme temperature changes ranging from extremely hot to extremely cold.
  • There is no liquid water on the moon’s surface, though ice has been discovered in permanently shadowed craters in polar regions.

Relationship Factors of the Earth and Moon

  • The distance between Earth and the Moon is about 238,855 miles.
  • The moon orbits Earth every 27.3 days, which is the same amount of time it takes to complete one rotation on its axis. This causes the same face of the moon to always be visible from Earth.
  • The development of tides on Earth is greatly influenced by the gravitational pull of the Moon.
  • Solar and lunar eclipses occur due to the alignment of the Earth, Moon and the Sun.
  • The light side of the Moon visible from Earth changes in a cycle from new Moon to full Moon and back again, this is called a lunar month.
  • The moon’s gravitational pull on Earth is the main cause of the rise and fall of ocean tides. The moon’s gravitational pull causes two bulges of water on the Earth’s oceans—one where the moon is overhead, and one on the opposite side of the Earth. As the Earth spins on its axis, each spot along the equator passes through both of these bulges each day.

Remember to consider these points when studying features, characteristics and relationship factors of the Earth and Moon. Understanding their unique characteristics and how they interact delivers a comprehensive understanding of other celestial bodies and their possible interactions with each other.