Believe it or not, it’s gravity that is also responsible for the Earth’s round shape! Because Earth (and other large objects like our fellow planets) is so big, gravity affects it in a big way, and pulls on it equally in every direction. In fact, gravity prevents big objects like Earth from being any other shape – if our planet had any points or edges, gravity would pull them back towards Earth’s center and round things out again. Because every part of Earth is pulled equally, the whole thing is a round shape like a ball!
Further informationEven though Earth is round, it’s important to note that it’s not a perfectly circular, round, ball-like shape. At the equator, around the middle of the Earth, the planet is slightly bulged.
ExplorationShape it up!
Like the round Earth, what are some other things you've learned about that have a special shape? For example, you might know about some things that are shaped like triangles, squares, rectangles, or even ovals! Do you know what to call the special six-sided shape of a stop-sign? The answer is a “hexagon”!
What are some of the differences in these shapes? Do some have straight edges, while others do not? How many edges does a triangle have versus a square or a rectangle??
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