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Satellite produces new map of Earth's gravity field
Posted: Fri, Apr 1, 2011, 7:56 AM ET (1156 GMT)
GOCE geoid image (ESA) European scientists unveiled Thursday the most detailed map to date of the Earth's gravity field, produced from data collected by an ESA satellite. Scientists used the data collected by ESA's Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) since its launch in March 2009 to produce the most accurate map of the Earth's geoid, the surface of equal gravitational potential. Scientists plan to use this new map for a variety of applications, from studying ocean currents and climate to seismology. Project officials said the spacecraft should be able to operate through the end of 2012, allowing further refinement of the gravity map.
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