- from Earth
When you look at a map of the world, what you see on it depends on the kind of map you have.
Does it show cities and countries, or mountains and valleys? Does it reveal weather patterns or erosion patterns? The variety of features on our planet is so great that one map just can’t handle them all.
Earth is part of an eight-planet solar system within the Milky Way galaxy. It is the third planet from the Sun and only the fifth biggest overall. Its size and location aren’t very impressive, but Earth has a talent for creating life. In fact, it’s the only place we know of that can!
One form of life—humans—tends to take this for granted. As a result, human activities such as habitat destruction, pollution, and overfishing have badly damaged the planet and its many complex systems. Fortunately, Earth is as resilient as it is beautiful. But it doesn’t take an expert to recognize that one planet can endure only so much.