el maestro

el maestro
"Trincheras de ideas valen más que trincheras de piedra." José Martí

Thursday, March 31, 2011

This is how our Earth really looks like: a semi-deflated football

The real Earth
The earth is not round as we had believed until now. The European Space Agency (ESA) has revealed today in Munich, Germany, the most accurate model of the ‘geoid’ [*] ever produced to enhance our perception and knowledge of how Earth works.

The exceptional new geoid was obtained with data gathered by ESA’s GOCE satellite which has been in orbit for two years measuring Earth’s gravity with astounding precision. It was unveiled to a group of scientists and media at the Fourth International GOCE User Workshop hosted at the Technische Universität München.
“GOCE geoid provides a dynamic topography and circulation patterns of the oceans with unprecedented quality and resolution”, said Prof. Reiner Rummel, former Head of the Institute for Astronomical and Physical Geodesy at this university.

GOCE in orbit
The data being collected by GOCE will enable scientists to better understand the internal structure of the Earth, particularly the processes that cause earthquakes and the effects of climate change. The ultimate goal is to learn how to predict such devastating events as the mega quake that hit Japan recently and develop a clear approach to the dramatic climate changes that we are experiencing.

Schematic representation of the different fields covered by GOCE

* A hypothetical solid figure whose surface corresponds to mean sea level and its imagined extension under (or over) land areas.

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