Why is Earth the densest planet of the solar system?

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• Among all the planets in the solar system, the Earth is the densest planet.
• Although small in size, the Earth has several remarkable physical properties which make it the densest planet in the solar system.
• Density is defined as the mass of a substance divided by per unit of volume. It is usually calculated using the formula p=m/v.
• The unit for density measurement is kilogram per cubic metre in the SI system. Other units used for measuring density are gram per centimetre cube and pounds per cubic metre.
• In simple terms, the density of a substance is the measurement of how tightly its molecules are packed.
• The calculations are easy and accurate when the substance is homogenous in nature i.e. all molecules are of the same shape and size.
• However, in case of substances that have a heterogeneous nature, the calculation results may not be accurate.
• This is exactly the reason why it is not easy to calculate the density of the Earth.
• The Earth has different layers such as the Continental Crust, Oceanic Crust, Mantle, the Outer Core, and the Inner Core etc which have different density values.
• Each layer has a different density value and hence it becomes difficult to calculate the density of the Earth accurately.
• The density values of each layers is updated regularly by referring to earthquake analysis report and experiments on rock scientists.
• The first attempt to calculate the density of the Earth was made by renowned scientist Henry Cavendish.
• Cavendish performed a series of experiments to calculate the density of the Earth.
• Through his experiments and calculations he found out that the mean density of the Earth is 5.6 g/cm3, the mass of the Earth is 5.9736 x 1024 and the volume of the Earth is 1.08321x 1012 km3.
• The density of the other members of the solar system was also calculated.
The values were – the Sun- 14.08 g/cm3; Mercury – 5.43 g/cm3; Venus – 5.243 g/cm3; Mars – 3.934 g/cm3; Jupiter – 1.326 g/cm3; Saturn – 0.687 g/cm3; Uranus – 1.270 g/cm3; Neptune – 1.638 g/cm3
• The calculated density of Earth shows that it is the densest planet in the Solar system. The reason for this large value of density is that the Earth does not have gaseous components and all of its mass is concentrated and compact. This reduces the volume of the planet and increases the density value.• Among all the planets in the solar system, the Earth is the densest planet.
• Although small in size, the Earth has several remarkable physical properties which make it the densest planet in the solar system.
• Density is defined as the mass of a substance divided by per unit of volume. It is usually calculated using the formula p=m/v.
• The unit for density measurement is kilogram per cubic metre in the SI system. Other units used for measuring density are gram per centimetre cube and pounds per cubic metre.
• In simple terms, the density of a substance is the measurement of how tightly its molecules are packed.
• The calculations are easy and accurate when the substance is homogenous in nature i.e. all molecules are of the same shape and size.
• However, in case of substances that have a heterogeneous nature, the calculation results may not be accurate.
• This is exactly the reason why it is not easy to calculate the density of the Earth.
• The Earth has different layers such as the Continental Crust, Oceanic Crust, Mantle, the Outer Core, and the Inner Core etc which have different density values.
• Each layer has a different density value and hence it becomes difficult to calculate the density of the Earth accurately.
• The density values of each layers is updated regularly by referring to earthquake analysis report and experiments on rock scientists.
• The first attempt to calculate the density of the Earth was made by renowned scientist Henry Cavendish.
• Cavendish performed a series of experiments to calculate the density of the Earth.
• Through his experiments and calculations he found out that the mean density of the Earth is 5.6 g/cm3, the mass of the Earth is 5.9736 x 1024 and the volume of the Earth is 1.08321x 1012 km3.
• The density of the other members of the solar system was also calculated.
The values were – the Sun- 14.08 g/cm3; Mercury – 5.43 g/cm3; Venus – 5.243 g/cm3; Mars – 3.934 g/cm3; Jupiter – 1.326 g/cm3; Saturn – 0.687 g/cm3; Uranus – 1.270 g/cm3; Neptune – 1.638 g/cm3
• The calculated density of Earth shows that it is the densest planet in the Solar system. The reason for this large value of density is that the Earth does not have gaseous components and all of its mass is concentrated and compact. This reduces the volume of the planet and increases the density value.
• Furthermore, the Earth’s large mass value results in strong gravitational forces which further reduce the volume of the planet by compressing all layers tightly.
• Mercury is the second densest planet in the solar system. The high density value of the planet may be attributed to the fact that it is largely made up of heavy metals such as iron.
• Although Jupiter has the largest mass value, its density value is relatively low as it is made up of gaseous components such as methane and ammonia.
• Saturn has the least value for density. In fact, its density is lower than water and the planet would float in water.
Source: saralstudy

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