Question

# There is a vertical and a horizontal component of the centrifugal force. The horizontal component points into the

negative y direction. The Earth's shape has adapted to this horizontal component of the centrifugal force and is therefore characterized by a slight oval shape instead of a perfect spherical shape. Take a look at the sketch below:

When including both components of the centrifugal force vector in our assessments the gravity vector no longer points to the center of the perfect sphere (like the gravitational force vector ). Now, an angle between the two vectors and exists.

A. Derive an equation for the enclosed angle α between the gravitational force: and gravity force: vectors at the surface of the earth as a function of latitude. Assume the radius of the Earth 'a' is constant.