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Earth seen from Moon
Earth seen from Moon

Earth science or geoscience includes all fields of natural science related to the planet Earth. This is a branch of science dealing with the physical constitution of the Earth and its atmosphere. Earth science is the study of our planet's physical characteristics, from earthquakes to raindrops, and floods to fossils. Earth science can be considered to be a branch of planetary science, but with a much older history. Earth science encompasses four main branches of study, the lithosphere, the hydrosphere, the atmosphere, and the biosphere, each of which is further broken down into more specialized fields.

There are both reductionist and holistic approaches to Earth sciences. It is also the study of Earth and its neighbors in space. Some Earth scientists use their knowledge of the planet to locate and develop energy and mineral resources. Others study the impact of human activity on Earth's environment, and design methods to protect the planet. Some use their knowledge about earth processes such as volcanoes, earthquakes, and hurricanes to plan communities that will not expose people to these dangerous events.

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In the news

17 October 2019 –
NASA announces that the InSight Mars lander's heat probe had successfully dug 3 centimetres (1.2 in) into the ground after becoming stuck 35 centimetres (14 in) in the ground in February 2019, confirming that the probe had not hit a rock and instead simply didn't have enough friction in the soil to dig much deeper. The vehicle landed near the Martian equator in November 2018. (
16 October 2019 – 2019 Mindanao earthquake
A magnitude 6.3 earthquake strikes the province of Cotabato, Philippines, at 19:37 local time (11:37 UTC), killing at least 5 people and injuring 53 others. (GMA News)
15 October 2019 –
A 4.5 magnitude earthquake, with a preliminary depth of 14.0 kilometers (8.7 miles), shakes the San Francisco Bay area. Residents reported minor damage. (USA Today) (U.S. Geological Survey)
11 October 2019 – Syrian Civil War, 2019 Turkish offensive into north-eastern Syria
A YPG mortar and rocket attack on the Turkish town of Nusaybin kills eight civilians and injures 35 others, according to the governor of Mardin Province. (Reuters)
26 September 2019 – 2019 Ambon earthquake
A 6.5-magnitude earthquake strikes the Maluku Islands in eastern Indonesia. 30 people are killed and 156 others injured. (Rappler)
24 September 2019 – 2019 Kashmir earthquake
An earthquake in Azad Kashmir kills at least 37 people and wounds more than 300 others in Pakistan. The tremor hits cities including Mirpur and Islamabad. The military commences search and rescue operations. (Reuters)


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Featured articles

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Climate change (More...)

Global warming · Rachel Carson · Retreat of glaciers since 1850

Earthquakes (More...)

1949 Ambato earthquake · 1968 Illinois earthquake · 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens · 1997 Qayen earthquake · 2002 Bou'in-Zahra earthquake · 2005 Qeshm earthquake · 2007–2008 Nazko earthquakes

Volcanoes (More...)

1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens · 2007–2008 Nazko earthquakes · Amchitka · Armero tragedy · Calabozos · Cerro Azul (Chile volcano) · Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve · David A. Johnston · Geology of the Lassen volcanic area · Loihi Seamount · Mauna Kea · Mauna Loa · Metacomet Ridge · Mono–Inyo Craters · Mount Cayley volcanic field · Mount St. Helens · Mount Tambora · Nevado del Ruiz · Surtsey · The Volcano (British Columbia) · Upper and Lower Table Rock · Volcano (South Park) · Yellowstone National Park

Other geology (More...)

Mary Anning · Archaea · Archaeopteryx · Cerro Azul (Chile volcano) · Bryce Canyon National Park · Calabozos · Chicxulub crater · Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event · Charles Darwin · Earth · Ediacara biota · Geology of the Bryce Canyon area · Geology of the Capitol Reef area · Geology of the Death Valley area · Geology of the Grand Canyon area · Geology of the Lassen volcanic area · Geology of the Zion and Kolob canyons area · Global warming · Iridium · Oil shale · The Volcano (British Columbia) · Toronto Magnetic and Meteorological Observatory · Volcanology of Io · Yellowstone National Park

Geography (More...)

Antarctica · Australia · Bryce Canyon National Park · Carlsbad Caverns National Park · Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve · Death Valley National Park · Geography of India · Geography of Ireland · National parks of England and Wales · Niagara Falls · Rondane National Park · Shoshone National Forest · Yellowstone National Park · Yosemite National Park · Zion National Park

Related topics

For a more comprehensive treatment of topics, see Outline of earth science and Index of earth science articles

Atmosphere Hydrosphere Lithosphere
Biosphere Systems Others

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