Physical map of Earth
with political borders as of 2016
Geography (from Greek γεωγραφία, geographia, literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of Earth. The first person to use the word γεωγραφία was Eratosthenes (276–194 BC). Geography is an all-encompassing discipline that seeks an understanding of Earth and its human and natural complexities—not merely where objects are, but also how they have changed and come to be.
Geography is often defined in terms of two branches: human geography and physical geography. Human geography deals with the study of people and their communities, cultures, economies, and interactions with the environment by studying their relations with and across space and place. Physical geography deals with the study of processes and patterns in the natural environment like the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and geosphere.
is the easternmost of the uninhabited coral atolls
which comprise the southern Line Islands
in the central Pacific Ocean
. First sighted by Europeans in 1606, claimed by United Kingdom
in 1868, and part of the Republic of Kiribati
since the island nation's independence in 1979, Caroline Island has remained relatively untouched and is considered one of the world's most pristine tropical islands, despite guano
harvesting, and human habitation in the 19th and 20th centuries. It is home to one of the world's largest populations of the coconut crab
and is an important breeding site for seabirds
, most notably the Sooty Tern
. The atoll is best known for its role in celebrations surrounding the arrival of the year 2000
– a 1995 realignment of the International Date Line
made Caroline Island the easternmost land west of the Date Line and therefore one of the first points of land on earth to see sunrise in the year 2000.
In this month
Did you know...
Things you can do
was an astronomer
, and literary scholar
, and lived during the Eastern Han Dynasty
(AD 25–220) of China
. After beginning his career as a minor civil servant, he eventually became Chief Astronomer, Prefect of the Majors for Official Carriages, and then Palace Attendant at the imperial court. His uncompromising stances on certain historical and calendrical issues led to Zhang being considered a controversial figure, which prevented him from becoming an official court historian. Zhang applied his extensive knowledge of mechanics and gears in several of his inventions. He invented the world's first water-powered armillary sphere
, to represent astronomical observation; improved the inflow water clock
by adding another tank; and invented the world's first seismometer
, which discerned the cardinal direction
of an earthquake
500 km (310 mi) away. Furthermore, he improved previous Chinese calculations of the formula for pi
. His fu
(rhapsody) and shi
poetry were renowned and commented on by later Chinese writers. Zhang received many posthumous honors for his scholarship and ingenuity, and is considered a polymath
by some scholars.
- Parent project
- Descendant projects
- Related projects
The Tadrart Acacus is a desert area in western Libya, part of the Sahara. The Acacus Mountains form a mountain range situated east of the Libyan city of Ghat and stretch north from the Algerian border about 100 km.