MadSci Network: Astronomy

Subject: How does gravity in space effect motion?

Date: Wed May 28 12:18:52 2003
Posted by Andy
Grade level: 7-9 School: Brocton Central
City: Brocton State/Province: NY Country: USA
Area of science: Astronomy
ID: 1054142332.As

When talking to students, subject was about starting an object in motion in 
space, and that it would continue until another force acted on it. For example, 
an astronaut pushes something and off it goes. Later we were discussing orbits 
and that the gravitational force of the sun balances with the forward force of 
the planets motion to keep them in orbit. These two ideas seem contradictory.  
If the suns gravity can reach out an hold jupiter in orbit, shouldn't an object 
moving through space be acted on by gravity?  Or as another example, If an 
object was released in space and was totally motionless, wouldn't the sun 
(being the strongest gravity effecting it) start it moving toward the center of 
the solar system.

Re: How does gravity in space effect motion?

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