All About Earth

a cartoon of a smiling Earth saying, Life is great!

What is Earth like?

Our home planet Earth is a rocky, terrestrial planet. It has a solid and active surface with mountains, valleys, canyons, plains and so much more. Earth is special because it is an ocean planet. Water covers 70% of Earth's surface.

Our atmosphere is made mostly of nitrogen and has plenty of oxygen for us to breathe. The atmosphere also protects us from incoming meteoroids, most of which break up in our atmosphere before they can strike the surface as meteorites.

Since we live here, you might think we know all there is to know about Earth. Not at all, actually! We have a lot we can learn about our home planet. Right now, there are many satellites orbiting Earth taking pictures and measurements. This is how we can learn more about weather, oceans, soil, climate change, and many other important topics.


Earth's Merit Badges

Click the planet badges to learn more about Earth:


a merit badge with a tree
a merit badge that shows a planet with a rocky surface
a merit badge with a planet and an arrow encircling it, showing rotation
a merit badge with a sun and an arrow encircling it, showing revolution around the sun
a merit badge with an orange planet and a thin blue band above it
a merit badge with an ancient symbol
a merit badge that shows an orange planet horizon and a moon in the background
a merit badge with a simplified spacecraft made of a square and two rectangles

See all the planet badges.


What does Earth look like?

A photo of Earth in the background looking very small. The moon's surface is in the foreground, so Earth is rising over the moon.

This Apollo 11 picture taken by an astronaut in 1969 shows the Earth rising over the moon. Doesn't it look small?

A photo of the northern portion of the Earth. Swirls of white cover it.

This is a view of Earth looking just at the northern portion.

A photo of Earth showing North and South America, oceans, and swirling clouds.

A NASA camera on the Deep Space Climate Observatory satellite took this picture of the entire sunlit side of Earth from one million miles away.


For more information visit solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/earth.

article last updated July 7, 2016

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