Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Where is the Center of the Earth?

  1. Mar 20, 2007 #1
    The Earth is not a perfect sphere, so the distance from the center of mass of the Earth to a point on its surface is not the same for all points. So, what point on the Earth's surface has the shortest distance to the center of mass--what point is "directly above" the center? All sorts of civilizations have historically claimed to be located at the center of the Earth, but now that we know the real shape of the Earth, shouldn't we know the real center?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 20, 2007 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    The earth is an oblate (flattened) sphereoid, therefore the points nearest the center are the poles. Also, any points on the ocean at the same latitude as each other are equadistant from the center of the earth.
    Since the center is the center, every point on earth's surface is directly above it.
    No they didn't. Many did claim to be at the center of the universe, though.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook