Figure and Gravity. Figure of a planet (Earth) Geoid Gravity field Gravity anomalies Isostatic principle Reference: Physics of the Earth, F. D. Stacey & P. M. Davis, Cambridge University Press, 2008. Why are planets spherical.
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Reference: Physics of the Earth, F. D. Stacey & P. M. Davis, Cambridge University Press, 2008
Asteroid 433 Eros
Asteroid 4 Vesta
Describing a geoid that way is analogous to a Fourier synthesis only for spherical coordinates
m is the ratio of the centrifugal component to total gravity at equator
g = - grad U
Image: Wikipedia based on WGS84
Airy-Heiskanen or Pratt-Hayford models
Image: NASA GRACE