Map of Earth’s Gravity
A spectacularly beautiful map of the earth’s gravity was unveiled today in Bergen, Norway, by the European Space Agency at an earth observation symposium dedicated primarily to the information collected by Europe’s Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) satellite. The satellite has been orbiting from pole to pole at extremely low altitude since its launch on March 17, 2009 and measuring exceedingly fine gradations of gravity, owing to differences in mass (because of different elevations, depths of oceans or density of the earth at different locations). The BBC has an article with the color map and graphic and video explanations of the GOCE’s measurements. The European Space Agency’s website also has an explanation of the mission, but surprisingly with fewer visuals than one would expect. NASA also has a page on the mission parameters together with some links.