What is an oblate spheroid?

Answer

An oblate spheroid is a type of three-dimensional shape. If you take an ellipse (an oblong round shape, like a squashed circle) and rotate it on its minor (shorter) axis, the three-dimensional shape that results is called an oblate spheroid. The Earth is pretty close in shape to an oblate spheroid. Skittles or M&M's candies are also oblate spheroids. They basically look like squashed spheres.
Q&A Related to "What is an oblate spheroid?"
It's an oblate spheroid because of inertial forces. The planet spins on it's axis. This motion causes the regions closer to the equator to bulge outwards resulting in the current
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Why_is_the_earth_an_obla...
( ′ä′blāt ′sfir′öid ) (mathematics) The surface or ellipsoid generated by rotating an ellipse about one of its axes so that the diameter of
http://www.answers.com/topic/oblate-spheroid
Earth, very likely Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Speed of rotation is major factor in whether a planet is slightly flattened along its rotational axis and bulges at
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=200903...
It’s the shape you get by spinning an ellipse around it’s minor axis. That says if you were to take a cross-section of the Earth containing the polar axis, the shape you
http://www.johndcook.com/blog/tag/geodesy/
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