• Question: why is the earth round and was flat once

    Asked by Abu.D15 to Scott, Ryan, Maggie, Hannah, Daniel on 14 Nov 2017.
    • Photo: Maggie Lieu

      Maggie Lieu answered on 14 Nov 2017:


      The Earth is round because of how it formed, it was a small particle of dust that grew and grew like a snowball. It’s definitely never been flat.

      But actually Earth is not perfectly round, its flatter at the north and south pole and slightly fatter at the equator

    • Photo: Ryan Cutter

      Ryan Cutter answered on 14 Nov 2017:


      The Earth was never flat. It started off as a tiny sphere of gas and dust and over time gobbled up more gas and dust until it became the size it is now.
      Planetary formation is one of the key studies in astrophysics at the moment, because we still aren’t entirely sure how planets form all the way.
      Great question,
      Ryan

    • Photo: Daniel Williams

      Daniel Williams answered on 15 Nov 2017:


      It’s always been round! A planet would really struggle to support itself under its own weight if it was flat, and would start to curl down at the edges, until it became round anyway.

    • Photo: Hannah Middleton

      Hannah Middleton answered on 15 Nov 2017:


      The Earth has always been round!

      But when the solar system was first forming, it came from what was probably a pretty flat-ish disk of dust and gas, called a proto-planetary disk. That material clumped together to form the sun and the planets – growing like snowballs as Maggie said. Observations have been made lately of another solar system which is just beginning to form from a disk of dust and gas – have a look at the image on this webpage:
      https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap141110.html
      The planets are gathering up material, making gaps in the disk.

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