New map shows variations in Earth's gravity field


Scientists have released what they say is one of the most precise maps of the Earth's gravity ever produced.

Known as a geoid, it essentially defines where the level surface is on our planet - it tells us which way is "up" and which way is "down".

It is drawn from delicate measurements made by Europe's Goce satellite, which flies so low it comes perilously close to falling out of the sky.

This animation shows the minute differences in the pull exerted by the mass of the the planet from one place to the next.

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