Satellite Shows Gravity is Strongest in Iceland

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Satellite Shows Gravity is Strongest in Iceland

According to new images transmitted by the European Space Agency’s satellite GOCE, gravity is the strongest in two areas on the planet: In a fairly large area in the Atlantic Ocean which stretches from the north of Iceland and all the way south to the Azores, and in an area north of Australia from the Philippines and eastwards to the Fiji Islands in the South Pacific. The gravity is weakest in southern India and in a large area in the Indian Ocean.

gravitymap_esa-goce

From The Guardian's coverage of the gravity map.

The gravity map, released by ESA this week, and shows the earth resembling a potato, is based on data from the GOCE satellite, which encircles the earth at a height of 255 kilometers and measures the strength of gravity in different places, Fréttabladid reports.

The difference is in fact so insignificant that it can only be picked up by sensors. The difference is exaggerated on the map, so that the gravity distribution can be demonstrated.

The purpose is primarily to calculate the height of the ocean surface in different areas so that the “real” height of places on earth can be measured rather than just the height above sea level.

Click here to read The Guardian’s coverage of the gravity map and to watch a video of it.