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Maybe you’ve heard this statement: if the Earth were shrunk down to the size of a billiard ball, it would actually be smoother than one. When I was in third grade, my teacher said basketball, but it’s the same concept. But is it true? Let’s see. Strap in, there’s a wee bit of math (like, a really wee bit).
OK, first, how smooth is a billiard ball? According to the World Pool-Billiard Association, a pool ball is 2.25 inches in diameter, and has a tolerance of +/- 0.005 inches. In other words, it must have no pits or bumps more than 0.005 inches in height. That’s pretty smooth. The ratio of the size of an allowable bump to the size of the ball is 0.005/2.25 = about 0.002.
The Earth has a diameter of about 12,735 kilometers (on average, see below for more on this). Using the smoothness ratio from above, the Earth would be an acceptable pool ball if it had no bumps (mountains) or pits (trenches) more than 12,735 km x 0.00222 = about 28 km in size.
The highest point on Earth is the top of Mt. Everest, at 8.85 km. The deepest point on Earth is the Marianas Trench, at about 11 km deep.
Hey, those are within the tolerances! So for once, an urban legend is correct. If you shrank the Earth down to the size of a billiard ball, it would be smoother.
But would it be round enough to qualify?
But space is littered with detritus, and the Earth cuts a wide path (125 million square km in area, actually). As we plow through this material, we accumulate on average 20-40 tons of it per day! [Note: your mileage may vary; this number is difficult to determine, but it's probably good within a factor of 2 or so.] Most of it is in the form of teeny dust particles which burn up in our atmosphere, what we call meteors (or shooting stars, but doesn’t "meteor" sound more sciencey?). These eventually fall to the ground (generally transported by rain drops) and pile up. They probably mostly wash down streams and rivers and then go into the oceans.
40 tons per day may sound like a lot, but it’s only 0.0000000000000000006% the mass of the Earth (in case I miscounted zeroes, that’s 2×10-26 6×10-21 times the Earth’s mass). It would take 140,000 million 450,000 trillion years to double the mass of the Earth this way, so again, you might want to pack a lunch. In a year, it’s enough cosmic junk to fill a six-story office building, if that’s a more palatable analogy.
I’ll note the Earth is losing mass, too: the atmosphere is leaking away due to a number of different processes. But this is far slower than the rate of mass accumulation, so the net affect is a gain of mass.
The height of a mountain may have an actual definition, but I think it’s fair to say that it should be measured from the base to the apex. Mt. Everest stretches 8850 meters above sea level, but it has a head start due to the general uplift from the Himalayas.
The Hawaiian volcano Mauna Kea is 10,314 meters from stem to stern (um, OK, bad word usagement, but you get my point), so even though it only reaches to 4205 meters above sea level, it’s a bigger mountain than Everest.
Plus, Mauna Kea has telescopes on top of it, so that makes it cooler.
1- The Earth is smoother than a billiard ball.
Originally posted by charlyv
Here is another one.
Technically, Gold is worth more at the poles than it is at the equator.
Rotation of earth around itself causes a centrifugal force on things, which is on the opposite direction of gravity and causes to decreas of weigh of them. This force is more stronger in equator, so weight of a thing in there is a littie lighten then the weight of the seme thing in other point of the earth.
The escape from center force causes that while a thing has 1000gr weight in the pole, it will be 996gr in the equator. in other words, we see about 4gr decrease per kilogram.
Thats, one person with 70kg in the pole, will be 69.7kg in the equator. The latitude of the pole is 90° and 0° for the equator. If we transfer a thing with 1kg from latitude of 45° to the equator difference of weigh for per kg will be less than 4gr.
Therefor we see that the changs of gravity on the earth isn't so much and causes in significent difference in thing's weight.
Let's suppose, an animal has one kg in it's body and it's heart circulates this blood a round in it's body per 10 seconds. Let's suppose we transfer this animal from the equator to a place near to the pole. There, it's blood will be heavier about 4gr. i.e. it's heart must enter 4gr additional force when it wants to cary the blood up and return it. If it did this only once, it hadn't any problem. But the heart of this animal, repeat this over to secondes i.e. 24gr per minute or 1440gr per hour or 34560gr per day and night i.e. the heart of this animal in the pole, must carry 34.5kg more load than equator.
Originally posted by 12voltz
As for the 20-40 tons a day weightgain ,wouldnt the amount of material thats removed and converted into ejected or burnt material counter the obesity. Like satellites,explosives,burning wood and coal etc.
Not that it matters anyway as the earth just a great place to be no matter how fat and smooth she getsedit on 13-6-2012 by 12voltz because: (no reason given)
Are we REALLY gaining mass, or is it the debris from human littering?
Or is it the debris from us picking up particles in space?