Read the following passage carefully: The Earth is the fifth largest of the


Read the following passage carefully:
The Earth is the fifth largest of the planets in the solar system. It is smaller than the
four giant planets i.e., Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, but larger than the three
other rocky planets, Mercury, Mars and Venus. Almost 71 percent of the Earth’s
surface is covered with water, and most of that is in the oceans. About a fifth of the
Earth’s atmosphere consists of oxygen, produced by plants.
Page 8 of 10
Scanned by Cam
While the Earth orbits the Sun, the planet is simultaneously spinning on an imaginary
line called an axis that runs from the North Pole to the South Pole. It takes the Earth
23.934 hours to complete a rotation on its axis and 365.26 days to complete an orbit
around the Sun.
The Earth’s axis of rotation is tilted in relation to the ecliptic plane, an imaginary
surface through the planet’s orbit around the Sun. This means the Northern and
Southern hemispheres will sometimes point toward or away from the Sun depending
on the time of year, and this changes the amount of light the hemispheres receive,
resulting in different seasons.
The Earth’s orbit is not a perfect circle, but rather an oval-shaped ellipde, similar to the
orbits of all the other planets. Our planet is a bit closer to the Sun in early January and
farther away in July, although this variation has a much smaller effect than the heating
and cooling caused by the tilt of the Earth’s axis.
According to scientists, the Earth was formed at the same time as the Sun and other
planets, some 4.6 billion years ago, when the solar system coalesced from a giant,
rotating cloud of gas and dust known as the ‘solar nebula’. As the nebula collapsed
because of its gravity, it spun faster and flattened into a disk. Most of the material was
pulled towards the centre to form the Sun. Other particles within the disk collided and
stuck together to form ever-larger bodies, including the Earth.
The Earth’s magnetic field is generated by currents flowing in the Earth’s outer core.
The magnetic poles are always on the move, with the magnetic North Pole accelerating
its northward motion to 40 km annually since tracking began in the 1830s. It will
likely exit North America and reach Siberia in a matter of decades.
5
(a) On the basis of your reading of the above passage, make notes on it using headings
and subheadings. Use recognizable abbreviations (minimum four) and a format you
consider suitable. Supply a suitable title to it.
(b) Make a summary of the above passage in about 80 words.
3


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.