What Is Special About the Earth's Placement in Our Solar System?

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Things that are special about Earth's placement in the solar system are directly related to why it can sustain life. Find out what is special about Earth's placement in the solar system with help from an astrophysics professional in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Moons & Planets
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Hi, my name is Eylene Pirez, and I'm an astrophysicist and this is "what's special about the Earth's placement in the solar system?" So, let's think about where Earth is and why it is important. So, this is the sun, and we are over here. Venus and Mercury are on the way. So, one of the things to know is that if you were at the place where Mercury is, so close to the sun, we would've not been able to retain any liquid. Everything would've evaporated because the temperatures would've been so extreme. If we were further away, like lets say, where Pluto is, we would've been freezing cold, and therefore, liquid water would've been nearly impossible to have. Also, plant life would've been impossible to really have. So, we are, temperature speaking, we are at a great position where it's not too cold, and it's not too hot, and we have dynamic seasons, therefore, we can enhance and evolve with life. Now, the other thing is that there is a lot of things that can harm us in space. Earth is small, but we generally see asteroids every day. So, the actual dangers of an asteroid impact are very large. Now, why doesn't it happen more, more often where we get a very large asteroid hit us? Well, we are at a placement where we're being guarded by the sun, and here will be Jupiter. Jupiter is about 300 times the size of Earth, which means that from side is a giant shield, and from the other one, we have the sun, which is 11 times the size of Jupiter, or more is, it's more than that. So, you have two shielding objects that pretty much block a lot of the asteroids that can actually harm Earth. And, this is something that is very special about Earth's placement in the solar system. My name is Eylene Pirez, and I'm an astrophysicist and this is "what's special about Earth's placement in the solar system?"

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