European Space Agency makes a joke about April 1st and publishes photo about the shape of the Earth

European Space Agency makes a joke about April 1st and publishes photo about the shape of the Earth
European Space Agency makes a joke about April 1st and publishes photo about the shape of the Earth
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Even the European Space Agency (ESA) joined in on the April 1st games and made https://twitter.com/esa/status/1774746576696594695 on his account on X (formerly Twitter) stating that new data analysis from the institution indicated that the Earth would have an Easter egg shape.

A few hours later, the profile made another post saying: “Of course, the Earth isn’t shaped like an Easter egg. Technically, it’s not round. But it’s definitely not flat.”

The post clarified that the correct term to define the shape of the planet is geoid, which resembles an ellipse. In other words, it is as if there were a weight on top of a ball that made it flatten. At the same time, this ellipse has an uneven surface.

The diameter of the planet widens close to the Equator due to the Earth’s rotation movement – around its own axis. However, an ellipse is also not enough to accurately explain the shape of the planet, as it has everything from high mountains to oceanic depressions, which brings differences to its surface.

The geoid shape refers to a kind of imaginary line at sea level, which undulates. Using complex mathematics and gravity readings, surveyors extend this imaginary line to continents as well. This helps to better understand ocean currents and monitor changes in sea level. Additionally, this format is used as a reference for construction and leveling.

The geoid shape and gravity

Gravitational differences shape different levels of the ocean and, if there were no currents or tides, the sea would have a wavy appearance, as represented by the geoid shape.

According to the European Space Agency, for a long time, the scientific community believed that the intensity of the gravitational force was the same for the entire planet, but with the emergence of more sophisticated and sensitive tools, it was realized that this was not true.

Near the Equator, for example, the gravitational force is weaker than at the extremes of the planet, because the most central region of the globe is further away from the Earth’s interior.

The asymmetry of the planet’s surface, as well as the deposits of oil and other minerals influence the different accelerations of gravity. Furthermore, the distribution of materials within the Earth is not homogeneous.


The article is in Portuguese

Tags: European Space Agency joke April #1st publishes photo shape Earth

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