Kanagawa Prefecture is a prefecture located in Kantō region of Japan. The capital of the prefecture is Yokohama. Kanagawa is part of the Greater Tokyo Area. Kanagawa Prefecture is home to Hakone, two popular side trip destinations from Tokyo; the prefecture has some archaeological sites going back to the Jōmon period. About 3,000 years ago, Mount Hakone produced a volcanic explosion which resulted in Lake Ashi on the western area of the prefecture, it is believed. In the ancient era, its plains were sparsely inhabited. In medieval Japan, Kanagawa was part of the provinces of Musashi. Kamakura in central Sagami was the capital of Japan during the Kamakura period. During the Edo period, the western part of Sagami Province was governed by the daimyō of Odawara Castle, while the eastern part was directly governed by the Tokugawa shogunate in Edo. Commodore Matthew Perry landed in Kanagawa in 1853 and 1854 and signed the Convention of Kanagawa to force open Japanese ports to the United States. Yokohama, the largest deep-water port in Tokyo Bay, was opened to foreign traders in 1859 after several more years of foreign pressure, developed into the largest trading port in Japan.
Nearby Yokosuka, closer to the mouth of Tokyo Bay, developed as a naval port and now serves as headquarters for the U. S. 7th Fleet and the fleet operations of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force. After the Meiji period, many foreigners lived in Yokohama City, visited Hakone; the Meiji government developed the first railways in Japan, from Shinbashi to Yokohama in 1872. The epicenter of the 1923 Great Kanto earthquake was deep beneath Izu Ōshima Island in Sagami Bay, it devastated Tokyo, the port city of Yokohama, surrounding prefectures of Chiba and Shizuoka, caused widespread damage throughout the Kantō region. The sea receded as much as 400 metres from the shore at Manazuru Point, rushed back towards the shore in a great wall of water which swamped Mitsuishi-shima. At Kamakura, the total death toll from earthquake and fire exceeded 2,000 victims. At Odawara, ninety percent of the buildings collapsed and subsequent fires burned the rubble along with anything else left standing. Yokohama and other major cities were damaged by the U.
S. bombing in 1945. Casualties amounted to more than several thousand. After the war, General Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers for the Occupation of Japan, landed in Kanagawa, before moving to other areas. U. S. military bases still remain in Kanagawa, including Camp Zama, Yokosuka Naval Base, Naval Air Station Atsugi. In 1945, Kanagawa was the 15th most populous prefecture in Japan, with the population of about 1.9 million. In the years after the war, the prefecture underwent rapid urbanization as a part of the Greater Tokyo Area; the population as of September 1, 2014, is estimated to be 9.1 million. Kanagawa became the second most populous prefecture in 2006. Kanagawa is a small prefecture located at the southeastern corner of the Kantō Plain wedged between Tokyo on the north, the foothills of Mount Fuji on the northwest, the Sagami Bay and Tokyo Bay on the south and east; the eastern side of the prefecture is flat and urbanized, including the large port cities of Yokohama and Kawasaki.
The southeastern area nearby the Miura Peninsula is less urbanized, with the ancient city of Kamakura drawing tourists to temples and shrines. The western part, bordered by Yamanashi Prefecture and Shizuoka Prefecture on the west, is more mountainous and includes resort areas like Odawara and Hakone; the area, stretching 80 kilometres from west to east and 60 kilometres from north to south, contains 2,400 square kilometres of land, accounting for 0.64% of the total land area of Japan. As of 1 April 2012, 23% of the total land area of the prefecture was designated as Natural Parks, namely the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. Topographically, the prefecture consists of three distinct areas; the mountainous western region features Hakone Volcano. The hilly eastern region is characterized by the Tama Hills and Miura Peninsula; the central region, which surrounds the Tama Hills and Miura Peninsula, consists of flat stream terraces and low lands around major rivers including the Sagami River, Sakai River, Tsurumi River, Tama River.
The Tama River forms much of the boundary between Tokyo. The Sagami River flows through the middle of the prefecture. In the western region, the Sakawa runs through a small lowland, the Sakawa Lowland, between Hakone Volcano to the west and the Ōiso Hills to the east and flows into Sagami Bay; the Tanzawa Mountain Range, part of the Kantō Mountain Range, contains Mount Hiru, the highest peak in the prefecture. Other mountains measure similar mid-range heights: Mount Hinokiboramaru, Mount Tanzawa, Mount Ōmuro, Mount Himetsugi, Mount Usu; the mountain range is lower in height southward leading to Hadano Basin to the Ōiso Hills. At the eastern foothills of the mountain range lies the Isehara Plateau and across the Sagami River the Sagamino plateau. Nineteen cities are located in Kanagawa Prefecture: These are the towns and villages in each district: Tama River Firework event Yokohama Port Anniversary Festival Kamakura Festival Hiratsuka Tanabata Festival Odawara Hōjō Godai Festival Yugawara
Shinto or kami-no-michi is the traditional religion of Japan that focuses on ritual practices to be carried out diligently to establish a connection between present-day Japan and its ancient past. Shinto practices were first recorded and codified in the written historical records of the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki in the 8th century. Still, these earliest Japanese writings do not refer to a unified religion, but rather to a collection of native beliefs and mythology. Shinto today is the religion of public shrines devoted to the worship of a multitude of "spirits", "essences" or "gods", suited to various purposes such as war memorials and harvest festivals, applies as well to various sectarian organizations. Practitioners express their diverse beliefs through a standard language and practice, adopting a similar style in dress and ritual, dating from around the time of the Nara and Heian periods; the word Shinto was adopted as Jindō or Shindō, from the written Chinese Shendao, combining two kanji: shin, meaning "spirit" or kami.
The oldest recorded usage of the word Shindo is from the second half of the 6th century. Kami is rendered in English as "spirits", "essences", or "gods", refers to the energy generating the phenomena. Since the Japanese language does not distinguish between singular and plural, kami refers to the singular divinity, or sacred essence, that manifests in multiple forms: rocks, rivers, objects and people can be said to possess the nature of kami. Kami and people are not separate; as much as nearly 80% of the population in Japan participates in Shinto practices or rituals, but only a small percentage of these identify themselves as "Shintoists" in surveys. This is. Most of the Japanese attend Shinto shrines and beseech kami without belonging to an institutional Shinto religion. There are no formal rituals to become a practitioner of "folk Shinto". Thus, "Shinto membership" is estimated counting only those who do join organised Shinto sects. Shinto has about 85,000 priests in the country. According to surveys carried out in 2006 and 2008, less than 40% of the population of Japan identifies with an organised religion: around 35% are Buddhists, 3% to 4% are members of Shinto sects and derived religions.
In 2008, 26% of the participants reported visiting Shinto shrines, while only 16.2% expressed belief in the existence of a god or gods in general. According to Inoue: "In modern scholarship, the term is used with reference to kami worship and related theologies and practices. In these contexts,'Shinto' takes on the meaning of'Japan's traditional religion', as opposed to foreign religions such as Christianity, Islam and so forth." Shinto religious expressions have been distinguished by scholars into a series of categories: Shrine Shinto, the main tradition of Shinto, has always been a part of Japan's history. It consists of taking part in worship events at local shrines. Before the Meiji Restoration, shrines were disorganized institutions attached to Buddhist temples; the current successor to the imperial organization system, the Association of Shinto Shrines, oversees about 80,000 shrines nationwide. Imperial Household Shinto are the religious rites performed by the imperial family at the three shrines on the imperial grounds, including the Ancestral Spirits Sanctuary and the Sanctuary of the Kami.
Folk Shinto includes the numerous folk beliefs in spirits. Practices include divination, spirit possession, shamanic healing; some of their practices come from Buddhism, Taoism or Confucianism, but most come from ancient local traditions. Sect Shinto is a legal designation created in the 1890s to separate government-owned shrines from local organised religious communities; these communities originated in the Edo period. The basic difference between Shrine Shinto and Sect Shinto is that sects are a development and grew self-consciously, they can identify a founder, a formal set of teachings and sacred scriptures. Sect Shinto groups are thirteen, classified under five headings: pure Shinto sects, Confucian sects,mountain worship sects, purification sects, faith-healing sects (Kurozumikyo／黒住教, Konkokyo/金光教 and its branching Omotokyo/大本教 and Tenrikyo／天理教. Koshintō, literally'Old Shinto', is a reconstructed "Shinto from before the time of Buddhism", today based on Ainu religion and Ryukyuan practices.
It continues the restoration movement begun by Hirata Atsutane. Many other sects and schools can be distinguished. Faction Shinto is a grouping of Japanese new religions developed since the second half of the 20th century that have departed from traditional Shinto and are not always regarded as part of it. Kami, shin, or, jin is defined in English as "god", "spirit", or "spiritual essence", all these terms meaning "the energy generating a thing". Since the Japanese language does not distinguish between singular and plural, kami refers to the divinity, or sacred essence, that manifests in multiple forms. Rocks, rivers, objects, places
A shamoji or rice paddle is a large flat spoon used in East Asian cuisine. It is used to stir and to serve rice, to mix vinegar into the rice for sushi. Shamoji are traditionally made from bamboo, wood, or lacquer, nowadays from plastic; the shamoji is dipped in water during use to prevent rice from sticking to it. Some expensive plastic shamoji have non-stick surfaces. Metal is used, as this is more to cut rice grains or to damage the hangiri wooden tub traditionally used for mixing, it is said to have been first devised by a monk on Itsukushima, Hiroshima Prefecture. The word is an example of nyōbō kotoba, being derived from the first part of shakushi, plus the moji suffix. Modern rice cookers may include a shamoji in the box made of white plastic. Shamoji are used to crush vegetables, such as garlic and cucumbers, as cleavers are used in Western cuisine; the shamoji has been a symbol of unity between the mother and wife in Japanese society. In one tradition, it was passed down from one generation to the next to symbolize the family duties that were handed down.
List of Japanese cooking utensils
Mōri Motonari was a prominent daimyō in the western Chūgoku region of Japan during the Sengoku period of the 16th century. The Mōri clan claimed descent from an adviser to Minamoto no Yoritomo. Motonari is known as a great strategist who began as a small local warlord of Aki Province who extended his clan's power to nearly all of the Chūgoku region through war, marriage and assassination. Sandwiched between the powerful Amago and Ōuchi clans, Motonari led the clan by balancing actions and diplomacy. Motonari succeeded in defeating both and controlled the entire Chūgoku region. In his years, he crushed the Ōtomo clan of Bungo Province in Kyūshū. Motonari ruled from the clan's main bastion since the early 14th century, his descendants became lords of the Chōshū Domain. Mōri Motonari was born on April 16, 1497, under the childhood name Shōjumaru in a small domain of Aki Province, he was the second son of Mōri Hiromoto. His mother was a daughter of Fukubara Hirotoshi, his birthplace is said to be the base of the Fukubara clan and his mother's home.
Today, there are stone monuments at the ruins of Suzuo Castle to commemorate the birthplace of Motonari at the castle. In 1500, his father was involved in a power dispute with the Ashikaga shogunate and the Ōuchi clan and decided to retire, he handed over the head position of the clan to his eldest son, Mōri Okimoto and moved to Tajihi-Sarugake Castle with his son Shōjumaru. Okimoto took over Yoshida-Kōriyama Castle, the main stronghold of the clan. History remembers the young Mōri Shōjumaru as a fearless daredevil, it is said he escaped by night with some other kids from the castle of his father, met lord Amago Tsunehisa and his troops. Shōjumaru thought they were the ghosts of the Heike clan samurai, so tried to become famous with a ghost hunt, a kind of practice favored for the education of the youth of buke families, and so, Shōjumaru came to challenge the mounted warrior who looked like the general to him. It was Tsunehisa; the other children were trembling in fear, but not Shōjumaru. The young lord shot an arrow toward the veteran lord.
Tsunehisa swiftly caught it with his bare hand. Impress by the bravery of his young nemesis, Tsunehisa spared the lads, looking forward to battle against an adult Motonari; the following year in 1501 his mother died and in 1506 his father died due to alcohol poisoning. Shōjumaru stayed at Tajihi-Sarugake Castle but his vassal Inoue Motomori began embezzling land and was kicked out of the castle; because of his poverty for being from such a powerful family he was called the "Beggar Prince" by the common people. The young Shōjumaru was raised by a foster mother Sugi no Ōkata, a great influence on him, she got him in the habit saying a Buddhist prayer every morning. In 1511, Shōjumaru became an adult and had his genpuku ceremony, he received the name Mōri Motonari. In 1516, his brother Okimoto died like their father due to alcohol poisoning. Okimoto's infant son, Kōmatsumaru succeeded as head of Motonari became his overseer. After the sudden deaths of his father and brother the Mōri clan was left vulnerable.
The most powerful lord of the region, Takeda Motoshige of Sataukanayama Castle, took advantage of the situation and gathered an army of 5,000 and in October, 1517 advanced into the territory of the Mōri's Kikkawa clan allies surrounding Arita Castle. A few weeks Motoshige dispatched a raid into the Mōri clan's territory and set fire to houses in Tajihi. Motonari went in place of his nephew Kōmatsumaru to relieve Arita Castle from the advancing Takeda forces; this was Motonari's first battle that would decide the fate of the Mōri clan and would become known as the Battle of Arita-Nakaide. With most of the Ōuchi clan forces preoccupied in Kyoto with Ōuchi Yoshioki, the Mōri were unable to call on them for assistance, Motonari instead mobilized his clan and called on their supporters. Motonari was supported in this by his younger brother, Aiō Mototsuna. In total the Mōri strength comprised around 850 men, reinforced by 300 from the Kikkawa clan, for a total of around 1,000; this force marched towards Arita Castle and on the way encountered the Takeda vanguard, commanded by Kumagai Motonao, commanding about 500 men.
The Mōri and their allies engaged the Takeda with archery fire. Kumagai Motonao was in the front ranks and was encouraging his men when he was struck and killed by an arrow. Takeda Motoshige was meanwhile with the main army at Arita Castle. Learning of Motonao's demise, he drew up his forces and marched to engage the smaller Mōri resistance; the Takeda encountered the Mōri and Kikkawa occupying the opposite bank of the Uchikawa River and a bitter struggled ensued. Outnumbered, the Mōri-led forces began to falter and fall back, but they held in place only by Motonari's pleas to stand their ground. Takeda Motoshige himself advanced forward across the river on horseback but was struck by an arrow and killed; the Takeda retreated, leaving Mōri Motonari the victor. The battle was the start of the decline of the Aki-Takeda clan and the start of the military expansion of the Mōri. Mōri Motonari's name became known in the country. In 1518 Amago Tsunehisa made a series of raids into the Ōuchi clan's lands, falling back with the return of Ōuchi Yoshioki from Kyōto.
In 1521 a formal peace treaty was signed between the two clans but this lasted for but one year. Sometime around 1522, Motonari married the daughter of Kikkawa Kunitsune the l
Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south; the kanji that make up Japan's name mean "sun origin", it is called the "Land of the Rising Sun". Japan is a stratovolcanic archipelago consisting of about 6,852 islands; the four largest are Honshu, Hokkaido and Shikoku, which make up about ninety-seven percent of Japan's land area and are referred to as home islands. The country is divided into 47 prefectures in eight regions, with Hokkaido being the northernmost prefecture and Okinawa being the southernmost one; the population of 127 million is the world's tenth largest. 90.7 % of people live in cities. About 13.8 million people live in the capital of Japan. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world with over 38 million people. Archaeological research indicates; the first written mention of Japan is in Chinese history texts from the 1st century AD.
Influence from other regions China, followed by periods of isolation from Western Europe, has characterized Japan's history. From the 12th century until 1868, Japan was ruled by successive feudal military shōguns who ruled in the name of the Emperor. Japan entered into a long period of isolation in the early 17th century, ended in 1853 when a United States fleet pressured Japan to open to the West. After nearly two decades of internal conflict and insurrection, the Imperial Court regained its political power in 1868 through the help of several clans from Chōshū and Satsuma – and the Empire of Japan was established. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, victories in the First Sino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War and World War I allowed Japan to expand its empire during a period of increasing militarism; the Second Sino-Japanese War of 1937 expanded into part of World War II in 1941, which came to an end in 1945 following the Japanese surrender. Since adopting its revised constitution on May 3, 1947, during the occupation led by SCAP, the sovereign state of Japan has maintained a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy with an Emperor and an elected legislature called the National Diet.
Japan is a member of the ASEAN Plus mechanism, UN, the OECD, the G7, the G8, the G20, is considered a great power. Its economy is the world's third-largest by nominal GDP and the fourth-largest by purchasing power parity, it is the world's fourth-largest exporter and fourth-largest importer. Japan benefits from a skilled and educated workforce. Although it has renounced its right to declare war, Japan maintains a modern military with the world's eighth-largest military budget, used for self-defense and peacekeeping roles. Japan is a developed country with a high standard of living and Human Development Index, its population enjoys the highest life expectancy and third lowest infant mortality rate in the world, but is experiencing issues due to an aging population and low birthrate. Japan is renowned for its historical and extensive cinema, influential music industry, video gaming, rich cuisine and its major contributions to science and modern technology; the Japanese word for Japan is 日本, pronounced Nihon or Nippon and means "the origin of the sun".
The character nichi means "sun" or "day". The compound therefore means "origin of the sun" and is the source of the popular Western epithet "Land of the Rising Sun"; the earliest record of the name Nihon appears in the Chinese historical records of the Tang dynasty, the Old Book of Tang. At the end of the seventh century, a delegation from Japan requested that Nihon be used as the name of their country; this name may have its origin in a letter sent in 607 and recorded in the official history of the Sui dynasty. Prince Shōtoku, the Regent of Japan, sent a mission to China with a letter in which he called himself "the Emperor of the Land where the Sun rises"; the message said: "Here, I, the emperor of the country where the sun rises, send a letter to the emperor of the country where the sun sets. How are you". Prior to the adoption of Nihon, other terms such as Yamato and Wakoku were used; the term Wa is a homophone of Wo 倭, used by the Chinese as a designation for the Japanese as early as the third century Three Kingdoms period.
Another form of Wa, Wei in Chinese) was used for an early state in Japan called Nakoku during the Han dynasty. However, the Japanese disliked some connotation of Wa 倭, it was therefore replaced with the substitute character Wa, meaning "togetherness, harmony"; the English word Japan derives from the historical Chinese pronunciation of 日本. The Old Mandarin or early Wu Chinese pronunciation of Japan was recorded by Marco Polo as Cipangu. In modern Shanghainese, a Wu dialect, the pronunciation of characters 日本; the old Malay word for Japan, Japun or Japang, was borrowed from a southern coastal Chinese dialect Fukienese or Ningpo – and this Malay word was encountered by Portuguese traders in Southeast Asia in the 16th century. These Early Portuguese traders brought the word
Autumn leaf color
Autumn leaf color is a phenomenon that affects the normal green leaves of many deciduous trees and shrubs by which they take on, during a few weeks in the autumn season, various shades of red, purple, orange, magenta and brown. The phenomenon is called autumn colours or autumn foliage in British English and fall colors, fall foliage or foliage in American English. In some areas of Canada and the United States, "leaf peeping" tourism is a major contribution to economic activity; this tourist activity occurs between the beginning of color changes and the onset of leaf fall around September and October in the Northern Hemisphere and April to May in the Southern Hemisphere. A green leaf is green because of the presence of a pigment known as chlorophyll, inside an organelle called a chloroplast; when they are abundant in the leaf's cells, as they are during the growing season, the chlorophyll's green color dominates and masks out the colors of any other pigments that may be present in the leaf. Thus, the leaves of summer are characteristically green.
Chlorophyll has a vital function: it captures solar rays and uses the resulting energy in the manufacture of the plant's food — simple sugars which are produced from water and carbon dioxide. These sugars are the basis of the plant's nourishment — the sole source of the carbohydrates needed for growth and development. In their food-manufacturing process, the chlorophylls break down, thus are being continually "used up". During the growing season, the plant replenishes the chlorophyll so that the supply remains high and the leaves stay green. In late summer, as daylight hours shorten and temperatures cool, the veins that carry fluids into and out of the leaf are closed off as a layer of special cork cells forms at the base of each leaf; as this cork layer develops and mineral intake into the leaf is reduced at first, more rapidly. During this time, the chlorophyll begins to decrease; the veins are still green after the tissues between them have completely changed color. Much chlorophyll is in the most abundant membrane protein on earth.
LHC II captures light in photosynthesis. It is located in the thylakoid membrane of the chloroplast and it is composed of an apoprotein along with several ligands, the most important of which are chlorophylls a and b. In the fall, this complex is broken down. Chlorophyll degradation is thought to occur first. Recent research suggests that the beginning of chlorophyll degradation is catalyzed by chlorophyll b reductase, which reduces chlorophyll b to 7‑hydroxymethyl chlorophyll a, reduced to chlorophyll a; this is believed to destabilize the complex. An important enzyme in the breakdown of the apoprotein is FtsH6, which belongs to the FtsH family of proteases. Chlorophylls degrade into colorless tetrapyrroles known as nonfluorescent chlorophyll catabolites; as the chlorophylls degrade, the hidden pigments of yellow xanthophylls and orange beta-carotene are revealed. These pigments are present throughout the year, but the red pigments, the anthocyanins, are synthesized de novo once half of chlorophyll has been degraded.
The amino acids released from degradation of light harvesting complexes are stored all winter in the tree's roots, branches and trunk until next spring, when they are recycled to releaf the tree. Carotenoids are present in leaves the whole year round, but their orange-yellow colors are masked by green chlorophyll; as autumn approaches, certain influences both inside and outside the plant cause the chlorophylls to be replaced at a slower rate than they are being used up. During this period, with the total supply of chlorophylls dwindling, the "masking" effect fades away. Other pigments that have been present in the cells all during the leaf's life begin to show through; these are carotenoids and they provide colorations of yellow, brown and the many hues in between. The carotenoids occur, along with the chlorophyll pigments, in tiny structures called plastids, within the cells of leaves. Sometimes, they are in such abundance in the leaf that they give a plant a yellow-green color during the summer.
However, they become prominent for the first time in autumn, when the leaves begin to lose their chlorophyll. Carotenoids are common in many living things, giving characteristic color to carrots, corn and daffodils, as well as egg yolks, rutabagas and bananas, their brilliant yellows and oranges tint the leaves of such hardwood species as hickories, maple, yellow poplar, birch, black cherry, cottonwood and alder. Carotenoids are the dominant pigment in coloration of about 15-30% of tree species; the reds, the purples, their blended combinations that decorate autumn foliage come from another group of pigments in the cells called anthocyanins. Unlike the carotenoids, these pigments are not present in the leaf throughout the growing season, but are produced towards the end of summer, they develop in late summer in the sap of the cells of the leaf, this development is the result of complex interactions of many influences—both inside and outside the plant. Their formation depends on the breakdown of sugars in the presence of bright light as the level of phosphate in the leaf is reduced.
During the summer growing season, phosphate is at a high level. It has a vital role in the breakdown of the sugars manufactured by chlorophyll, but in the fall, along with the other chemicals and nutrients, moves out of the leaf into the stem of the plant; when this happens, the sugar-breakdown process changes, lea
Nature, in the broadest sense, is the natural, physical, or material world or universe. "Nature" can refer to the phenomena of the physical world, to life in general. The study of nature is a large, part of science. Although humans are part of nature, human activity is understood as a separate category from other natural phenomena; the word nature is derived from the Latin word natura, or "essential qualities, innate disposition", in ancient times meant "birth". Natura is a Latin translation of the Greek word physis, which related to the intrinsic characteristics that plants and other features of the world develop of their own accord; the concept of nature as a whole, the physical universe, is one of several expansions of the original notion. This usage continued during the advent of modern scientific method in the last several centuries. Within the various uses of the word today, "nature" refers to geology and wildlife. Nature can refer to the general realm of living plants and animals, in some cases to the processes associated with inanimate objects—the way that particular types of things exist and change of their own accord, such as the weather and geology of the Earth.
It is taken to mean the "natural environment" or wilderness—wild animals, forest, in general those things that have not been altered by human intervention, or which persist despite human intervention. For example, manufactured objects and human interaction are not considered part of nature, unless qualified as, for example, "human nature" or "the whole of nature"; this more traditional concept of natural things which can still be found today implies a distinction between the natural and the artificial, with the artificial being understood as that, brought into being by a human consciousness or a human mind. Depending on the particular context, the term "natural" might be distinguished from the unnatural or the supernatural. Earth is the only planet known to support life, its natural features are the subject of many fields of scientific research. Within the solar system, it is third closest to the sun, its most prominent climatic features are its two large polar regions, two narrow temperate zones, a wide equatorial tropical to subtropical region.
Precipitation varies with location, from several metres of water per year to less than a millimetre. 71 percent of the Earth's surface is covered by salt-water oceans. The remainder consists of continents and islands, with most of the inhabited land in the Northern Hemisphere. Earth has evolved through geological and biological processes that have left traces of the original conditions; the outer surface is divided into several migrating tectonic plates. The interior remains active, with a thick layer of plastic mantle and an iron-filled core that generates a magnetic field; this iron core is composed of a solid inner phase, a fluid outer phase. Convective motion in the core generates electric currents through dynamo action, these, in turn, generate the geomagnetic field; the atmospheric conditions have been altered from the original conditions by the presence of life-forms, which create an ecological balance that stabilizes the surface conditions. Despite the wide regional variations in climate by latitude and other geographic factors, the long-term average global climate is quite stable during interglacial periods, variations of a degree or two of average global temperature have had major effects on the ecological balance, on the actual geography of the Earth.
Geology is the study of the solid and liquid matter that constitutes the Earth. The field of geology encompasses the study of the composition, physical properties and history of Earth materials, the processes by which they are formed and changed; the field is a major academic discipline, is important for mineral and hydrocarbon extraction, knowledge about and mitigation of natural hazards, some Geotechnical engineering fields, understanding past climates and environments. The geology of an area evolves through time as rock units are deposited and inserted and deformational processes change their shapes and locations. Rock units are first emplaced either by deposition onto the surface or intrude into the overlying rock. Deposition can occur when sediments settle onto the surface of the Earth and lithify into sedimentary rock, or when as volcanic material such as volcanic ash or lava flows, blanket the surface. Igneous intrusions such as batholiths, laccoliths and sills, push upwards into the overlying rock, crystallize as they intrude.
After the initial sequence of rocks has been deposited, the rock units can be deformed and/or metamorphosed. Deformation occurs as a result of horizontal shortening, horizontal extension, or side-to-side motion; these structural regimes broadly relate to convergent boundaries, divergent boundaries, transform boundaries between tectonic plates. Earth is estimated to have formed 4.54 billion years ago from the solar nebula, along with the Sun and other planets. The moon formed 20 million years later. Molten, the outer layer of the Earth cooled, resulting in the solid crust. Outgassing and volcanic activity produced the primordial atmosphere. Condensing water vapor, most or all of which came from ice delivered by comets, produced the oceans and other water sources; the energetic chemistry is believed to have produced a self-replicat