ixtract | Most Accurate Gravity Map Of The Earth

Mapping gravity field of the Earth

NEXT Geoid
The world isn't a disc, nor a sphere – it's a potato
After just two years in orbit, ESA's GOCE satellite has gathered enough data to map Earth's gravity with unrivaled precision. Scientists now have access to the most accurate model of the 'geoid' ever produced.
They hope, that the gravity map created from GOCE will now help to develop a deeper understanding of the processes causing earthquakes, for example.
Yellow marks the highest gravitational pull and dark blue the lowest gravity difference. In this image the gravity is 10.000 times overdrawn compared to the real relief, to better visualize gravity anomalies. Our spherical Earth is distorted to match the gravitational field.
Gravity data as we retrieved them by satellite where first visualized as greyscale picture based on a conventional table. Each pixel now represents data for one latitude and longitude.
Gravity mapped onto Earth's surface which is accordingly distorted and 10,000 times overdrawn. On the left side in the blue area is the Himalaya region and more to the front you can see Australia.
The animation as it appeared on the iPad-version of National Geographics Magazine. The dark spot is the Indian Ocean.
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