Advertisement

Earth's shape: more a sphere than a tomato

To the editor: Apparently, emeritus history professor Joyce Appleby didn't have her article vetted by her colleagues in UCLA's physics or astronomy department. In the last paragraph she states that "the Earth in fact was shaped like a tomato," which is misleading. ("How to end an argument," Op-Ed, Oct. 4)

Although there is some flattening of the Earth at the poles, the value of the flattening is about one part in 300, a number that is remarkably close to the one calculated by Isaac Newton. This is consistent with a near-perfect sphere.

Advertisement

Newton was a very smart guy; it's doubtful that he would mistake a sphere for a tomato.

Robert Mandl, El Segundo

Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @latimesopinion

Advertisement
Advertisement