Some of us will travel all over the world during our lives and discover lots of countries, habitats, animals, plants and other people; others will stay much closer to home.
But, how big is our world? And how does its size relate to other things in our universe?
The size of the Earth can be measured in lots of different ways. For example, its weight or surface area. But perhaps the easiest measurement to think of is its circumference around the equator.
The equator is an imaginary line that goes all the way around the middle of the Earth, and it measures 7,926 miles. To give you an idea of how far that is, the distance from London to Salisbury is 78 miles: the circumference of the Earth is 1,000 times further. Even in an aeroplane, it would take about two days to fly non-stop around the world!
But, compared to the other planets in our solar system, the Earth is middle-sized. It is bigger than Mercury, Venus and Mars (the planets between Earth and the Sun) but smaller than Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune (the planets further away from the Sun). Jupiter is the biggest of all the planets and could fit 1,300 Earths inside it! But that’s nothing compared to the Sun, which could fit 1.3 million Earths inside it!
Perhaps you prefer to think of the world in terms of the people who live on it? Well, the population is growing all the time! When I wrote this post, the number of people alive on Earth was estimated to be more than 7.4 billion. China, India and the United States of America are the largest countries by population. The United Kingdom has 65 million people – less than 1% of the world’s population. And the city of Bristol, where I live, has just 428,000 people.
So, I think you’ll agree that the world is huge compared to you and me, but relatively small compared to the rest of the universe.