The natural earth
The center of gravity of the earth
December 28, 1846
[1.1] When you study a body, whatever shape it might have, with a scrutinizing mind and eye, you will easily and quickly notice that three features can be observed, namely first its visual outer shape, i.e. its form with all its natural attributes, for example its circumference, its surface extending to all sides and the coloring of this surface; secondly, you will essentially perceive a certain volume that has some diameter in its length, width, and height; and this volume of the body shows, according to its nature, some weight or gravity notably toward a certain direction.
[1.2] For example, when you study the shape of any stone or, as well, of any regularly or irregularly shaped clump, you will soon find that its center of gravity is not located equally in all parts of it. In particular, you may learn this most easily from a bulky wooden stake if you put it on the water and it will always dip its center of gravity deepest into the water. Thus this is the second point which everybody can easily find in every object.
[1.3] The third point with regard to a body is its true center. It should, however, never be confused with the body’s center of gravity. Thus every body has two center points, one of gravity and another one of its physical measurements. You may also examine all kinds of bodies in this way, and you will never find that the center of gravity will completely coincide with the center of physical measurements. This would not even happen in the instance of a perfect, mathematically properly founded metal ball, and this is because no body ever consists of so perfectly even parts that the point of gravity would coincide precisely with the actual center of its physical measurements.
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