Environment

Does The Moon Have Gravity?

The moon also exerts a gravitational pull like the Earth.

The average person does not probably give the concept of gravity much thought even though gravity affects nearly every aspect of our life. The gravitational force is the reason why objects fall down. Studies on the gravitational force are crucial as they would help us understand better how the universe works. According to Isaac Newton's law of gravity, objects in the universe put out an attraction force on one other. The force is affected by the distance and the object's mass. In complex systems such as the solar system, the gravitational force is exerted on the planets by the sun thereby holding them in orbit. The planets also put out a gravitational force on the sun and other planets at varying degrees depending on the mass and distance between the bodies. The theory of relativity helped to demonstrate that gravity is not only a force but a curvature on the time-space continuum. Einstein's theory is typically illustrated using a heavy ball that is placed on a stretched rubber sheet with other smaller balls falling towards the heavy ball because the rubber sheet is wrapped due to the ball's weight.

Comparison between the moon and the Earth

Gravity is experienced on the moon but since the moon is much smaller and has less mass than the Earth, the gravitational pull on the surface is lower compared to that on the surface of Earth. The moon's mass is about 1.2% the mass of the Earth which makes the gravity on the moon 83.3% lower than that of the Earth. A person on the surface of the moon typically experiences about 17% of the gravitational pull one would usually experience on Earth. The lower gravity on the moon means that if one were to jump 11.8 inches on Earth, that would probably translate to a jump of about 6.56 feet on the moon and if one weighed 220.46 pounds on Earth the weight on a scale on the moon would be probably 34.48 pounds.

The moon landing

Due to the difference in gravitational force, the Apollo Astronauts who first walked the surface of the moon had to learn how to work differently while adjusting to the moon’s gravity. The astronauts were observed to make a hopping run as they moved across the surface of the noon as the normal walk would make them fly up too far and fall over, which happened some times. It is thought with the low gravitational pull on the moon one could probably fly with wings fixed to one's arms.

Effect of the moon's gravity on Earth

The gravitational pull from the moon has a significant effect on the rise and fall of ocean tides on earth. The gravitational pull from the moon results in two water bulges in the Earth’s oceans. The pull is strongest where water from the ocean directly faces the moon.

About the Author

Benjamin Elisha Sawe holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Statistics and an MBA in Strategic Management. He is a frequent World Atlas contributor. 

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