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Encyclopedia > Oblate spheroid
Oblate also refers to a member of the Roman Catholic religious order of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, or in some cases to a lay or religious person who has officially associated himself (or herself) with a monastic community such as the Benedictines for reasons of personal enrichment without actually assuming a monastic lifestyle.

An oblate spheroid is an ellipsoid having a shorter axis and two equal longer axes (see the spheroid page for a picture).


Oblateness is a measure for a planet that is a spheroid in shape, bulging outward in the center due to its rotation. Effectively the (fictitious) centrifugal force fights against gravity causing the planet to look more like a sphere stretched at the equator.


Mathematically, oblateness may be defined as

where Re the equatorial radius and Rp is the polar radius. The approximation is valid in the case of a fluid planet of uniform density; it is a function of the Newtonian constant of gravitation G, the rotation period T and the density ρ.


  Results from FactBites:
 
Oblate - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (429 words)
An oblate spheroid is ellipsoid having a shorter axis and two equal longer axes.
The oblateness, ellipticity, or flattening is a measure for a planet that is a spheroid in shape, bulging outward in the center due to its rotation.
Gravity tends to contract celestial bodies into a perfect sphere, the shape where all the mass is as close to the center of gravity as possible.
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