GOCE mapped Earth's gravity field with incredible precision • Earth.com

Last update: December 10th, 2019 at 8:00 am

Today’s Image of the Day from the European Space Agency (ESA) describes the significance of the Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) mission, which was launched in 2009.

While mapping the planet’s gravity field, GOCE hovered on the edge of space at an altitude of 224 kilometers, which is the lowest operational position of any observation satellite.

The GOCE mission provided scientists with a better understanding of Earth’s gravity field, as well as new insights into global ocean circulation patterns and their impact on the climate.

In 2013, GOCE ran out of fuel and descended back into the Earth’s atmosphere over the South Atlantic Ocean, where most of it disintegrated.

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

Video Credit: European Space Agency

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