MadSci Network: Earth Sciences

Re: difference between Earth's geometry center and center of gravity?

Date: Wed Apr 8 08:24:19 2009
Posted By: Rob Fatland, Staff, Research and Education, Freelance Science Educator
Area of science: Earth Sciences
ID: 1235498975.Es

The earth considered independent of the moon is still constantly 
deforming due to physical factors: The earth's rotation, the 
gravitational influence of the moon and the sun, and other smaller 
effects. This deformation includes the changes in the distribution of 
mass of the ocean (tides) and atmosphere. In short the center of mass is 
not fixed.

I do not have a good answer for where the center of mass is on average, 
or what it's typical deviation is; but my best surmise is that this 
should be on a scale of a kilometer on a time scale of hours. 

There are different ways of defining the geometric center of the earth, 
depending in which model of the earth you choose. So this too is not a 
simple thing to determine. 

Sorry I do not have a better answer for you.

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