Earth is the third planet from the Sun and is the largest of the terrestrial planets in the Solar System, in both diameter and mass. It is also referred to as the Earth, Planet Earth etc.
Interaction with other planets
Earth interacts with other objects in outer space, including the Sun and the Moon. At present, Earth orbits the Sun once for every roughly 366.26 times it rotates about its axis. This length of time is a sidereal year, which is equal to 365.26 solar days. The Earth's axis of rotation is tilted 23.4° away from the perpendicular to its orbital plane, producing seasonal variations on the planet's surface with a period of one tropical year (365.24 solar days). Earth's only known natural satellite, the Moon, began orbiting it about 4.53 billion years ago.
Influence due to other planets
A cometary bombardment during the early history of the planet played a role in the formation of the oceans. Later, asteroid impacts caused significant changes to the surface environment. Long term periodic changes in the Earth's orbit, caused by the gravitational influence of other planets, are believed to have given rise to the ice ages that have intermittently covered significant portions of Earth's surface in glacial sheets. The moon orbiting the earth provides ocean tides, stabilizes the axial tilt and gradually slows the planet's rotation.
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