Paths To Knowledge (dot Science)

What is actually real in Objective Reality? How do you know? Now, prove it's real!

Our Lumpy Graceful Earth

Posted by pwl on February 22, 2009

Lumpy Earth - GRACE Gravity Map of Earth - Americas

Lumpy Earth - GRACE Gravity Map of Earth - Americas, Pacific Ocean

Measuring Gravity With Grace
“It’s an assumption that has made introductory physics just a little bit easier — the acceleration of a body due to gravity is a constant 9.81 meters per second squared. Indeed, the assumption would be true if Earth were a smooth sphere made of uniform elements and materials.”- NASA

Lumpy Earth - GRACE Gravity Map of Earth

Lumpy Earth - GRACE Gravity Map of Earth - Africa, Europe, Asia

“A spherical map of the Earth with different colors representing Earth’s gravity field Quite the opposite is true, however. Earth’s diverse topography includes mountains, valleys, underground caverns, oceans and glaciers. Since gravity is directly related to mass, and different surface features contain more or less mass than others, slight variations in gravity exist across the surface of the planet.” – NASA

Lumpy Earth, an exaggerated map of Earth's gravity field

Lumpy Earth, an exaggerated map of Earth

“While tiny changes in gravity may be negligible when solving a basic high school physics problem, they can be a critical clue to understanding the structure of the solid Earth, ocean circulation, sea ice and sea-level rise, and fluctuations in the amount of water stored above and below ground.” – NASA

“GRACE, short for Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, is a NASA mission consisting of twin satellites that were launched in 2002. The satellites are in the same orbit around Earth, one about 220 kilometers (137 miles) in front of the other at an altitude of 460 kilometers (286 miles) above the Earth’s surface. Together, they measure Earth’s gravity field with a precision greater than any previous instrument.” – NASA

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