Saturday, April 2, 2022

What is the point on the Earth's surface farthest from the center of our planet?

Very intuitively we might think that this point coincides with the top of a mountain, but determining which mountain is not as immediate as it may seem.

Instinctively one might think of Mount Everest, on the border between China and Nepal. Everest with its 8848 meters is in fact the highest mountain on the planet, taking as reference the sea level. Its top, however, is not the farthest point from the center of the Earth.

Up to now we have not in fact taken into consideration the shape of the Earth, which is not spherical, but ellipsoidal: the equatorial radius is greater than the polar one.

The search for the farthest point from the center of the Earth must therefore be conducted between the peaks near the equatorial regions. As a result, this point is located at the top of Mount Chimborazo, in Ecuador! This has a height of 6310 meters above sea level, much lower than that of Everest. Chimborazo, however, is located just 1 ° away from the equator: consequently its top is more than 2 km away from the center of the Earth compared to that of the Himalayan giant!

Credit: Alamy.

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