View the step-by-step solution to:


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 Figure_2.png). Now, an angle between the two vectors Figure_2.pngand Figure_3.png exists.

A. Derive an equation for the enclosed angle α between the gravitational force: Figure_2.png and gravity force: Figure_3.png vectors at the surface of the earth as a function of latitude. Assume the radius of the Earth 'a' is constant.


Oval shape of the Earth Centrifugal
force vector y : gravitational
force vector if : gravity vector that takes the
vertical and horizontal components
of the centrifugal force vector
into account



Recently Asked Questions

Why Join Course Hero?

Course Hero has all the homework and study help you need to succeed! We’ve got course-specific notes, study guides, and practice tests along with expert tutors.

  • -

    Study Documents

    Find the best study resources around, tagged to your specific courses. Share your own to gain free Course Hero access.

    Browse Documents
  • -

    Question & Answers

    Get one-on-one homework help from our expert tutors—available online 24/7. Ask your own questions or browse existing Q&A threads. Satisfaction guaranteed!

    Ask a Question
Let our 24/7 Physics tutors help you get unstuck! Ask your first question.
A+ icon
Ask Expert Tutors You can ask You can ask You can ask (will expire )
Answers in as fast as 15 minutes
A+ icon
Ask Expert Tutors