Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only object in the Universe known to harbor life . According to radiometric dating and other sources of evidence, Earth formed over 4.5 billion years ago. Earth's gravity interacts with other objects in space , especially the Sun and the Moon , Earth's only natural satellite . Earth revolves around the Sun in 365.26 days, a period known as an Earth year. During this time , Earth rotates about its axis about 366.26 times.
Earth's axis of rotation is tilted with respect to its orbital plane, producing seasons on Earth. The gravitational interactionbetween Earth and the Moon causes ocean tides, stabilizes Earth's orientation on its axis, and gradually slows its rotation. Earth is the densest planet in the Solar System and the largest of the four terrestrial planets .
Earth's lithosphere is divided into several rigid tectonic plates that migrate across the surface over periods of many millions of years. About 71% of Earth's surface is covered with water , mostly by oceans .