The Earth is our home, the place we live and live on. We know a lot about it, but there is still so much to discover! There are many facts about the Earth that you can use in your **every day life**.

For example, did you know that the Earth has a radius of 6,380 kilometers and that it *takes 24 hours* for the Earth to turn on its axis? These facts can be useful when talking about geography and how the Earth works.

The radius of the Earth is an important fact to know. The radius defines what size the planet is and how it functions. For example, **ocean currents** and **wind patterns depend** on where the edge of the planet is.

This article will discuss more important facts about the earth that you should know.

## The earth’s rotation

The earth’s rotation is the speed at which the earth turns on its axis. This is how we get day and night, as the sun takes over 12 hours to move from east to west in the sky.

The earth’s rotation is **approximately 1 day** (24 hours) in duration. The difference between day and night is due to the direction the Earth’s surface is facing as it rotates.

Due to the Earth’s shape, there are two points on the Earth’s surface where it does not experience a change in orientation. These points are called poles. The North Pole is where the planet’s **surface faces away** from the sun, and the South Pole is where it faces towards the sun.

Because of this, at these points, there is *24 hour daylight* or *24 hour darkness every day*.

## How long does it take for the earth to turn on its axis?

In one day, the *earth makes one complete rotation* on its axis, which is also known as a day. A day is the amount of time it takes for the earth to be in the same position in relation to the sun.

This happens due to the sun’s influence on the earth. The sun pushes and pulls on the earth’s axis, slightly shifting its position. This is why we have night and day!

However, it does not **take exactly one twenty**–**four hour period** for this to happen. Due to things such as tidal waves and earthquakes, the Earth slows down or speeds up slightly. This does not change the number of hours in a day, but changes how long a single cycle takes.

For example, yesterday may have *taken slightly longer* than today due to these small influences.

## The Earth Has a Radius of 6380 Km and Turns Around Once on Its Axis in 24 H

The Earth’s diameter is 8,902 kilometers and its radius is 6,380 kilometers. This means that the Earth’s circumference is 40,000 kilometers.

Because the Earth rotates on its axis, it has to turn a little more than its diameter. The length of this circumference is called the meridian and it is equal to half of the diameter or 2,860 kilometers.

Because one day has 24 hours and each hour has 60 minutes, the number of turns of the Earth on its axis is 360°/h x 24 h = 2’400°. Therefore, one turn of the Earth takes 2’400°/40’000 = 0.0052° change in the Earth’s position.

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) decided that a **full circle rotation** (360°) takes 24 hours so that there are exactly 86 200 such turns per day.

## The diameter of the earth is around 12,742 km

The diameter of the earth is around 12,742 km, which is almost 7,900 miles. This is how far it is from one side to the other.

Due to the fact that the earth is not a perfect sphere, its circumference is slightly more than its diameter. The earth’s circumference is about 40,000 km more than its diameter.

Because of this slight difference in size, geographers had to come up with a way to **accurately measure distances across** the globe. They did this by using what is called a latitude and a longitude grid.

The **latitude grid runs east** to west and measures how far you are from the equator. The length of one degree on this grid is 1/360 of the total circumference of the earth.

The **longitude grid runs north** to south and measures how far you are from the poles. One degree on this grid equals 1/360 of the length of *one circle along* the equator.

## To rotate once on its own axis takes 23 hrs, 56 mins and 4 secs

As we’ve already mentioned, the Earth takes one day to rotate once on its own axis. This is called a standard day and is the time it takes for the Earth to rotate once relative to the sun.

However, since there are 360 degrees in a circle, the Earth has to rotate more than **one degree per day** in order to *complete one rotation relative* to the sun. This is what makes a solar day longer than a standard day.

The length of a **solar day varies throughout** the year due to two factors:the speed at which the Earth rotates on its axis and whether the Earth’s orientation changes relative to the sun.

During winter, days are longer because it takes the Earth longer to rotate on its axis in response to the changing magnetic field and direction of rotation of the earth around the sun.

## How long does it take for the earth to turn on its axis?

Once every day, the **earth completes one entire rotation** on its axis. This is called one day. One day is equal to 24 hours, which is the amount of time it takes for the earth to **complete one full rotation** on its axis.

Due to the fact that there are 360 degrees in a circle, there are **2 degrees per hour**. Because it takes 24 hours for the earth to complete one full rotation on its axis, then there are *roughly 1 degree per hour* that the earth rotates.

The difference in time between when the sun rises and when it sets depends on the time of year. In summer, the days are longer so it takes more hours for the sun to rise and set than in winter when the days are shorter.

There is no such thing as a week-long day.

## How fast is the rotation of the earth?

The **earth takes 24 hours** to *make one full rotation* on its axis. This is called 1 day and is the average length of a daytime period. At night, the *earth keeps spinning due* to the sun and moon influence.

Because of that, there are two times in a day when the earth’s surface is not facing the sun. These are called twilight periods and last about an hour each.

Hours are divided into minutes and seconds, with there being 60 seconds in a minute and 60 minutes in an hour. There are also 1000 seconds in a hour, *making one orbital period* of the earth around the sun equal to about 1000 hours.

The length of a day changes during winter and summer due to the angle of the earth’s axis relative to the plane of orbit around the sun. This causes different parts of the earth’s surface to receive more or less sunlight over a 24-hour period.

## What causes this rotation?

The Earth rotates due to the force of gravity. The force of gravity is what causes objects to be **drawn towards** each other. All objects, including the Earth, moon, and stars have a gravitational force.

This force is what causes the Earth to rotate as well as orbit the sun. When the Earth rotates on its axis, it is actually the mass of the earth that is moving, not the earth’s surface.

The Earth’s rotation is not constant but changes with time. This is because other **celestial bodies** such as the moon and sun affect how quickly it rotates. When these **draw closer** to each other or apart, this affects the Earth’s rotation.