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The earth revolves round the sun because the sun attracts the earth. The sun also attracts the moon and this force is about twice as large as the attraction of the earth on the moon. Why does the moon not revolve round the sun ?
- Kelvin (age 19)
Now that you ask, I'm surprised this question hasn't come up before.
The answer is that the moon does
orbit the sun. Think of the path of the moon over a year. It stays close to the earth, which goes around the sun. So the moon also goes around the sun. In addition to that, it makes smaller, faster loops around the earth. If you could remove the earth while leaving the moon in its current position with its current velocity, it would orbit the sun without those extra little loops.
(published on 01/24/11)
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