SPACE TODAY ONLINE    Covering Space From Earth to the Edge of the Universe
Cover Rockets Satellites Shuttles Stations Astronauts Solar System Deep Space History Global Links
Europe at a glance:
A Diverse Industrialized Continent


European countries map courtesy of
Europe is both the sixth largest continent and the second smallest continent, after Australia. Europe is about one-fifteenth of the world's total land area. Actually, Europe is a large peninsula of the Eurasian land mass. It is separated from the continent of Asia by the Ural Mountains and the Ural River in the east, the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus Nountains in the southeast, and the Black Sea, the Bosporus, the Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles in the south.

Europe is separated from the continent of Africa by the Mediterranean Sea and the Straits of Gibraltar.

On the north is the Arctic Ocean. On the west is the Atlantic Ocean. The North Sea and Baltic Sea connect to the Atlantic. On the south and east are the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea.

Europe can be visualized as a variety of geographic regions: The countryside. Scandinavia is mountainous. South of the Scandinavian peninsula are the Central European uplands surrounded by a great European plain from the Atlantic to the Urals. The plain has soil fertile enough for agriculture. To the east and north are steppe, forest, lake, and tundra lands. The Iberian, Italian and Balkan peninsulas south of the Alpines are mountainous.

Mountains. Mountains include the Alpines chain with the Pyrenees, Alps, Carpathians, Balkans, and Caucasus.

Rivers. Major rivers are the Volga, Don, Dnieper, Danube, Vistula, Oder, Elbe, Rhine, Rhône, Loire, Garonne, and Tagus.

Ports. Some of the world's greatest ports are in Europe including London, Rotterdam, Le Havre, Hamburg, Genoa, and Marseilles.

Highest/lowest. Highest are Mt. Elbrus at 18,481 feet in the Caucasus and Mont Blanc at 15,771 feet in the Alps. Europe's lowest point is the surface of the Caspian Sea which actually is 92 feet below sea level.

Climate. Europe's climates range from subtropical to polar. In the south, the Mediterranean region is dry and warm. To the west and northwest are mild, humid climates. In central and eastern Europe, the climate is humid with cool summers. Subarctic and tundra climates are found in the northeast.

What the people do. Europe is industrialized with the most in England, west central Europe, northern Italy, Ukraine and European Russia. Europe also has agriculture as well as forestry in the north and fishing along the Atlantic coast.

ESA member nations flags
More information on the European Space Agency

Europe in Space | Search STO | STO cover | Questions | Feedback | © 2003 Space Today Online