MadSci Network: Astronomy

Subject: Surface Gravity to tell actual force one object has on another?

Date: Sat Dec 21 03:36:48 2002
Posted by Glen
Grade level: undergrad School: UMUC
City: honolulu State/Province: HI Country: US
Area of science: Astronomy
ID: 1040459808.As

I was asked a question, my teacher counted it wrong, but she canít explain why 
itís wrong.  Would you please tell me if I did this right, and if not, what I 
did wrong?


Imagine that the moon were twice its current distance from the Earth.  By how 
much would the moon's tidal force on the Earth change?  What implacation does 
this have for tides on the Earth as the moon moves away from the Earth? 
The moon's gravitational force is 1/6 the Earths.  Earth's is 9.8 (m/s)/s at 
the surface.  So the moon's acceleration at the surface is 9.8/6= 1.63 (m/s)/s 
The moon is approximately 60 earth diameters from us right now, so.... 
Now to find the force the moon has on the Earth we need to take 
1.63/3600=4.5*10^-4 (m/s)/s 
Double the distance to 120 and.... 
1.63/14,400= 1.13*10^-4 (m/s)/s 
As you can see, gravitation is much gets much weaker as you move out, so the 
tidal force would be much weaker as well.  As the moon's distance increases 
from the Earth, the tidal force should weaken as the inverse square of the 

Re: Surface Gravity to tell actual force one object has on another?

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