The Earth’s geoid mapped

The European Space Agency has released a new, high definition geoid model of the Earth based on data collected by the GoCE satellite (Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer). This model defines a surface where the force of gravity is exactly the same at every point. As BBC News puts it:

if you were to place a ball anywhere on this potato, it would not roll because, from the ball’s perspective, there is no “up” or “down” on the undulating surface. It is the shape the oceans would adopt if there were no winds, no currents and no tides.

New geoid model from GoCE. With exaggerated terrain.

Check out the animated version below:

Image credit: ESA/HPF/DLR

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