Earth

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148,940,000 km2 land (29.2 %)

Earth (or the Earth) is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets. It is sometimes referred to as the World, the Blue Planet, or by its Latin name, Terra.[note 6][note 7]

Home to millions of species including humans, Earth is currently the only place where life is known to exist.[17] The planet formed 4.54 billion years ago, and life appeared on its surface within a billion years.[18] Earth's biosphere has significantly altered the atmosphere and other abiotic conditions on the planet, enabling the proliferation of aerobic organisms as well as the formation of the ozone layer which, together with Earth's magnetic field, blocks harmful solar radiation, permitting life on land.[19] The physical properties of the Earth, as well as its geological history and orbit, have allowed life to persist during this period. The planet is expected to continue supporting life for at least another 500 million years.[20][21]

Earth's outer surface is divided into several rigid segments, or tectonic plates, that migrate across the surface over periods of many millions of years. About 71% of the surface is covered with salt water oceans, the remainder consisting of continents and islands which together have many lakes and other sources of water contributing to the hydrosphere. Liquid water, necessary for all known life, is not known to exist in equilibrium on any other planet's surface.[note 8] Earth's poles are mostly covered with solid ice (Antarctic ice sheet) or sea ice (Arctic ice cap). The planet's interior remains active, with a thick layer of relatively solid mantle, a liquid outer core that generates a magnetic field, and a solid iron inner core.

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