We are born on Earth, we take it in the inheritance and we do not understand much about our planet unless we study it thoroughly.
Without having access to the information gathered by our predecessors, perhaps, looking at the horizon, we would realize that we are living on a heavenly body or, following the night-day cycle, we can see the rotation movement around the axis. Humanity needed thousands of years to learn the secrets of the Earth, and this mission is far from complete.
Gravity is not uniform across the Earth’s surface
It seems that in some places on Earth, we can feel heavier than in others. This phenomenon is explained by the fact that, in some regions of the planet, the gravitational attraction acts with greater force than in most areas. A point where gravity is manifested with low intensity is in the vicinity of Indian coasts, while the phenomenon of attraction acts more pronouncedly in the South Pacific Ocean.
The cause of these irregularities is currently unknown since the appearance of the surfaces seems to influence these reactions. As such, NASA’s GRACE twin satellites, launched in March 2002, make detailed measurements of Earth’s gravitational field that will lead to important discoveries about gravity and the Earth’s natural systems.
Due to the thermal energy, some of the molecules at the upper boundary of the Earth’s atmosphere increase their velocity to the point where they can escape from the sphere of influence of terrestrial gravity. This results in a slow but constant leakage of the atmosphere into space. Because unfixed hydrogen has a low molecular weight, he can grasp the speed needed for faster escape and can leak into outer space at a higher rate. For this reason, the present Earth’s atmosphere is oxidized rather than reduced, the consequences of this being based on the level of chemical nature of life that has developed on the planet. The atmosphere rich in oxygen retains much of the hydrogen that survives, blocking it in water molecules.
The rotation speed of the Earth varies
As a result of the variation of gravitational forces under the influence of the Moon, the Sun, and the other planets in the solar system as well as other cosmic mechanisms, the Earth’s rotation speed around its own axis varies over time. Recently, days have become shorter with hundreds of seconds, suggesting that the angular rotation speed of the Earth around its axis has increased. The factors that induce this speeding up have not yet been determined precisely. Also, recorded data on the rotation of the Earth shows oscillations according to certain periods of the year. Thus, the most pronounced slowdown in planet rotation occurs in winter, in January and February, when the Earth reaches its lowest speed in a year.
Van Allen Radiation Belt
The Van Allen Radiation Belt is a plasma field around the Earth, made up of electrically charged particles, held together by the magnetic field of the planet. During the Apollo missions, human crews on board aircraft were partially exposed to Van Allen radiation, astronauts increasing their chance of developing cancers five times more than ordinary people.
However, NASA claims to have deliberately calculated the launches and trajectories of the Apollo ships and used the orbits for transfer to the Moon that just touched the edge of the belt over the equator to minimize crew irradiation. Also, some nuclear tests carried out in space have caused artificial radiation belts. Starfish Prime, a nuclear test that took place at high altitude, created an artificial radiation belt that damaged or destroyed one-third of the Earth’s satellites at that time (1962). The same would probably be the fate of all the satellites on the Earth’s orbit if they were under the Van Allen radiation belt.
The Moon is moving away from Earth
After 25 years of measurements and data records, it became clear to scientists that the moon’s orbit is slowly increasing its volume, and Earth’s natural satellite is constantly moving away from our planet. In more accurate figures, the Earth’s natural satellite is moving away from us at a rate of four centimetres per year.
According to astronomers, it seems that this trend will persist until the Sun becomes a red giant over five billion years. During this solar phase, both the Earth and the Moon will be affected by the expanding atmosphere. Then, the Moon will return to Earth to the lower limit of the possible distance between the two bodies, reaching a distance of 18,470 kilometres, the so-called “Roche Limit.” The end result will be the destruction of the Moon is very small fragments that would form, around the Earth, a scrap disk approximately 37,000 kilometres in diameter, similar to the Saturn rings.
The Moon has a tidal effect on the atmosphere
The Moon has a tidal effect on the earth’s atmosphere, as it does on the oceans. According to the theory, in tropical areas, the lunar pressure should exert stronger oscillations of the atmosphere, but their magnitude rarely exceeds, in reality, 100 microns the natural atmospheric pressure at the surface (that is, 0.01% of this). Detecting such a low masked signal of much higher pressure variations associated with climatic phenomena involved the development of special statistical techniques and the accumulation of a long series of regular observations. It is common for atmospheric waves to increase in amplitude with the height, as the air is thinning. The lunar current, however, remains weak compared to the solar in the higher atmosphere.
The Earth’s electrical charge
Since 1917, researchers know that Earth’s surface is charged with negative electricity, but nobody knows exactly what is holding this load. It’s not a very strong current, but about 1,500 amp, not much more than the current flowing through a few high-voltage lines. Although it is consumed, this electricity is constant, so it restores somehow, otherwise it would be exhausted shortly. Scientists wonder how this is possible. An1 obvious theory is that lightning recovers somehow the lost energy, but nobody has been able to prove it undeniably.
Tons of interplanetary matter land on Earth annually
About 30,000 tons of interplanetary dust reach the Earth’s surface each year. Most asteroids move around the Sun in a belt between Mars and Jupiter. Fragments resulting from collisions between them can be attracted to the interior of the solar system and sometimes they can even approach the Earth. Rocks and dust that move rapidly in relation to our planet come into the atmosphere, becoming “falling stars.” However, objects that move more slowly, relative to Earth’s rotation speed, can be captured by the gravity of the planet and survive the penetration into the atmosphere, reaching the ground.
Changing Earth’s magnetic poles
During an inversion of the Earth’s polarity, the planet’s north magnetic pole becomes the south pole and vice versa. During the last 160 million years there have been hundreds of such inversions.
A complete reversal lasts for thousands of years and has worrying consequences that include migratory birds or other animals (such as sharks) and the possible exposure of the Earth to cosmic rays.
Cosmic rays are normally rejected by Earth’s magnetic field, but during the inversion, at some point the magnetic field becomes zero. The scientists very little understand what the causal mechanism behind these reversals is, and until recently the most widespread idea was that this phenomenon occurs randomly.
However, it has recently been discovered that the sequence of polarity inversions is not described by a probability distribution, specific to random processes, but by a distribution that characterizes the presence of “memory” effects.
In other words, polarity inversions are not independent of each other, but are correlated. Although most of the times, a polarity reversal is a slow and constant process, sometimes the phenomenon manifests itself rapidly and in leaps.