Australian continent shifts with the seasons, study finds

Nov 17, 2016

By Staff

Australia shifts and tilts back and forth by several millimeters each year because of changes to the Earth’s center of mass, according to a new study. The findings could help scientists better track the precise location of Earth’s center of mass, which is important for GPS and other satellite measurements, according to the study’s author.

All bodies have a center of mass, or the average position of the mass of an object. Earth’s center of mass lies roughly at the center of the planet’s molten core, about 6,000 kilometers (about 3,700 miles) beneath the surface.

Seasonal changes to the distribution of on Earth’s surface—largely through precipitation and evaporation—shift the planet’s center of mass a few millimeters in different directions.

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