Letter | Published:

Odd Zonal Harmonics in the Earth's Gravitational Potential, determined from Fourteen Well Distributed Satellite Orbits

Naturevolume 212pages271272 (1966) | Download Citation



THE zonal harmonics in the Earth's gravitational field indicate its variations with latitude, averaged over all longitudes. The odd zonal harmonics, of degree 3, 5, 7, …, specify that part of the gravitational field which is not symmetrical about the equator and gives rise to the “pear-shape” effect.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    O'Keefe, J., Eckels, A., and Squires, R. K., Science, 129, 565 (1959).

  2. 2

    Newton, R. R., Hopfield, H. S., and Kline, R. C., Nature, 190, 617 (1961).

  3. 3

    Kozai, Y., Smithsonian Astrophys. Obs. Spec. Rpt., 101 (1962).

  4. 4

    Smith, D. E., Planet. Space Sci., 11, 789 (1963).

  5. 5

    Guier, W. H., and Newton, R. R., Johns Hopkins Univ. App. Phys. Lab. Rpt. TG 634 (1964).

  6. 6

    Kozai, Y., Publ. Astronom. Soc. Japan, 16, 263 (1964).

  7. 7

    King-Hele, D. G., Cook, G. E., and Scott, D. W., Planet Space Sci., 13, 1213 (1965).

Download references

Author information


  1. Space Department, Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough

    • D. G. KING-HELE
    • , G. E. COOK
    •  & DIANA W. SCOTT


  1. Search for D. G. KING-HELE in:

  2. Search for G. E. COOK in:

  3. Search for DIANA W. SCOTT in:

About this article

Publication history

Issue Date




By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.