Defining the World

The Earth

Is the Earth a perfect sphere

No, the Earth is a bit wider than it is “high.” The shape is often called a geoid (Earthlike) or an ellipsoid. The rotation of the Earth causes a slight bulge towards the equator. The circumference of the Earth at the equator is 24,901.55 miles (40,066.59 kilometers), which is about 41 miles (66 kilometers) greater than the circumference through the poles (24,859.82 miles [40,000 kilometers). If you were standing on the moon, looking back home, it would be virtually impossible to see the bulge and the Earth would appear to be a perfect sphere (which it practically is).


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