Planets and Moons  ID: 20081


To some extent, geodesy is the study of the shape of the Earth. But it is also the study of how to find precise locations on the planet. As it relates to the study of sea level, geodesy becomes vital. The Earth is not a perfect shape and is constantly changing. Only through a very carefully constructed system of analysis can scientists achieve the necessary accuracy about the planet's shape (the so-called 'geoid') to make measurements of sea level from space. In this animation we look at how a fleet of ground based lasers and the Global Positioning Satellite fleet contribute to a mathematically representative picture of the Earth.

Animation Credits

Susan Twardy (HTSI): Lead Animator
Chris Meaney (HTSI): Animator
Michael Starobin (HTSI): Writer
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab

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GCMD >> Earth Science >> Solid Earth >> Geodetics/Gravity
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Oceans >> Sea Surface Topography >> Sea Surface Height
NASA Science >> Planets and Moons

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version