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The Story of the Heavens

Cover The Story of the Heavens
The Story of the Heavens
Robert S Robert Stawell Ball
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This operation is repeated in different parts of the earth in the northern hemisphere and in the southern, in high latitudes and in low latitudes. If the sea-level over the entire earth were a perfect globe, an important consequence would follow the length of a degree of the meridian would be the same everywhere. It would be the same in Peru as in Sweden, the same in India as in THE EARTH. 167 England. But the lengths of the degrees are not all the same, and hence we learn that our earth is not
... really a sphere. The measured lengths of the degrees enable us to see in what way the shape of the earth departs from a perfect sphere. Near the pole the length of a degree is longer than near the equator. This shows that the earth is flattened at the poles and protuberant at the equator, and it pro- vides us with the means of actually calculating the length of the polar and the equatorial axes.
The polar axis of the earth may be defined to be the shortest diameter of the earth. This axis intersects the surface at the north and south poles.


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