reference ellipsoid

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An imaginary ellipsoid (a solid body formed when an ellipse is rotated about an axis) that is used when expressing the height of the geoid as the perpendicular distance between the geoid and the reference ellipsoid. At one time different countries used their own reference ellipsoids, but nowadays a standard reference ellipsoid is used, with its origin at the Earth's centre of mass.

Subjects: Earth Sciences and Geography.

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