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Map shows earth shaped like potato

04-02-2011 08:15 BJT

The European Space Agency has released an animated map of Earth's gravity showing that gravitationally, our planet is shaped more like a potato than a sphere.

The European Space Agency has released an animated map of Earth's gravity showing
that gravitationally, our planet is shaped more like a potato than a sphere.

The ESA's map was produced using data gathered by their Ocean Circulation Explorer satellite over the past year.

Scientists also use the "Geoid" in conjunction with other geometric measurements to establish the approximate shape of the Earth's surface. The scientific term "Geoid" describes the surface of the world's oceans shaped only be gravity, not tides and currents.

Because the forces of gravity on Earth vary, the shape of the map shows a view of the planet based solely on gravitational pull.


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