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Name: Santangelo
Status: other
Grade:
Country: Canada
Date: N/A


Question:
If the Earth gains about a million kilograms of mass everyday over a long period of time would that cause drastic changes to the earths environment and relationship with the sun?



Replies:
I am not sure where the million (10^6) kg/day comes from, since Earth is both gaining and losing material, as well as changing mass distribution, but assuming it is a "good" approximation, the mass of the Earth is ~ 6x10^24 kg (and that number is known very accurately, I just did not write all the digits down.). So the mass change is a tiny fraction of the Earth's mass.

Vince Calder


Santangelo,

The Earth gains about 100 million kilograms of material per day from meteorites and space dust and loses virtually nothing to space. So, it is constantly increasing in mass.

However, the increase in mass is trivial compared to the mass of the Earth (around 10 to the 25 power kilograms). Thus the Earth gains only 0.000003% in mass per year, resulting in no changes to the Earth's environment and no change in its relationship with and orbit around the Sun.

You can find more details about this subject by doing a search on the internet using the phrase "earth gains mass".

David R. Cook
Meteorologist
Climate Research Section
Environmental Science Division
Argonne National Laboratory



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