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The Difference Between a Terrestrial Globe and a Celestial Globe

A globe is a model of the Earth or any other celestial body, scaled down to reflect its sphere shape. It is similar to a map, but the surface of a globe is not distorted. The model of Earth is called a terrestrial globe. But what is the difference between a terrestrial globe and a celestial globe? Here’s an explanation of both. Let’s start with a definition:

Physical globe changes slowly, because geologic processes change the world very slowly. Even at a scale of 12 inches, these changes can affect a globe’s accuracy. However, a digital globe can be updated almost instantly, so the world map you purchase can reflect those changes. It is even possible to buy interactive globes that can speak the names of the countries when you touch them! And the digital version of a globe is just as useful, since it is a copy of the physical globe.

A traditional globe is made of metal. Early versions were solid pieces made from glass, marble, wood, or even metal. Later, hollow globes were created using thin metal sheets and copper. Today, almost all globes are hollow and are made of cardboard, plastic, or metal. You can even find a three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle made from paper, designed to challenge your patience. And if you’re not a puzzle fan, a globe can also be a gift for a friend.

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