New Results from GOCE: Earth is a Rotating Potato
by NANCY ATKINSON on MARCH 31, 2011
Although they aren’t particularly fond of the comparison, scientists from the GOCE satellite team had to admit that new data showing Earth’s gravity field – or geoid — makes our planet look like a rotating potato. After just two years in orbit, ESA’s sleek and sexy GOCE satellite (Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Explorer) has gathered sufficient data to map Earth’s gravity with unrivalled precision. While our world certainly doesn’t look like a spinning tuber, this exaggerated view shows the most accurate model of how gravity varies across the planet.
The geoid is nothing more than how the oceans would vary if there were no other forces besides gravity acting on our planet.
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