HERE'S MORE....Some pictures of not-so-round asteroids.
People used to think the Earth was FLAT. Now you're wondering why it's round. Well, we'd better ask an expert. Richard F., offered us this answer.
Remember that the Earth's gravity pulls everything toward the centre. While Earth was forming, when it was still small, its gravity was low and it was probably very irregular in shape,
Asteroids are small and often lumpy. GASPRA is the name of an asteroid that was photographed several years ago and it looks like a potato.
As the Earth got bigger by collecting rocks that hit it, the force of gravity got larger and the rocks would roll and bounce toward the low spots before sticking. This way, the low spots got filled in and the Earth became smoother.
Do you know what shape has no low or high points? A sphere or ball. So the force of gravity tends to make the Earth round.
Imagine what would happen today if part of the Earth stuck out like the corner of a cube. It would be farther away from the centre. If any pieces broke off for any reason, they would tumble down away from the high spot. So the high spots would get worn down until the Earth was round. That's called erosion.
If it weren't for volcanoes and mountains forming all the time, the Earth would be won down to a nearly perfect sphere by now.
The spin of the Earth causes the equator to bulge out a little more so in fact the Earth is not really a sphere but more like a sphere with a large belly!
Answer #% % filename A118.DOC page% % page 1 of% % numpages 1 % % date \@ "MMMM d, yyyy"March 21, 1995
€Sarah Johnson, Brady Riordan, room 12, Mrs. MastineBack to