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September 08, 2009

The Earth is Not Round!!!

It's actually a potato!!!

At least that's what has been found according to newer research from the twin GRACE satellites that came up with this model of the actual shape/surface/topography of the earth as it spins.

It seems that certain areas of the Earth's mass has a denser gravity than others resulting in very deep valleys and very high mountains.

Big whoop, right? I mean I can tell the Earth is not round and smooth by looking at the potholes on my way to the gas station, right?

Well, the information obtained by the GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) has exponentially raised our knowledge of the surface of the earth in the first 30 days of the mission than we have gathered in the past 30 years.

Something about knowing there have been thousands of satellites launched into space since the 1950's it's a little jaw-dropping considering the first recorded satellite collision happened sometime last year.

But the GRACE mission is a pair of twin satellites that follow the same trajectory, with the second satellite only 220 km behind, allowing their measurements to be accurate to within the nearest micron ( 1/1000 of a meter).

This helpful data will give us more insight of the fluctuations of sea level over time, atmospheric pressure over certain bodies of land and water, and Arctic ice melting.

Seems like a good resource for all environmental advocates, no?

But marine biologists can also gain from this helpful instrument in orbit.

It seems that not only can we look better and deeper over the surface of the earth, but also that we can actually measure levels down into the deepest regions of the ocean bed.

I wouldn't be surprised if we use more and more data from this mission, seeing as how it updates every 30 days with newer information.