Glowing Earth Oblate Spheroid

3D Animation

Earth is not a sphere. Earth may be described as an oblate spheroid with some variation. The earth's diameter is larger at the equator. Additionally mountains and oceans modify the shape of the earth. Some people say the earth is slightly tear drop shaped caused by the gravitational pull of the sun.

The minor axis is the smaller radius of an ellipse. The major axis is the larger radius of an ellipse. An ellipse rotated around it's minor axis is considered an oblate spheroid.

If an ellipse's major and minor axes are equal in diameter, then the ellipse is a circle. A sphere results from rotating a circle around either axis.

See the Interactive 3D Moon or the Glowing Earth Animated GIF. Seven Thunder Software prepared the earth animation with visual effects.

Glowing Earth Glowing Earth Animated GIF
Moon Moon Interactive Oblate Spheroid
Ellipse with Major and Minor Axes Callouts Ellipse Axes Callouts
Circle Circle Major Axis = Minor Axis
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