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Q & A: Why is the sun's gravitational force less than that of the Earth?

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Most recent answer: 05/08/2016
Q:
why doesn't the sun's gravitational force affect me more than earth does?
- manal (age 14)
Omaha,NE
A:

Hello Manal,

Newton's Law of universal gravition is F = GM1 M2 / R2 .   This law has been experimentally verified many, many times.   Although the sun has a much larger mass than the earth,  Ms /Me  = 3.3 x105  it's distance ratio squared  (Rs/Re)2 =  3.3 x 108  dominates the ratio of the forces.    There is, however, a small observable effect of the sun's gravity at the surface of the earth in its effect on the ocean tides.    The moon, being much closer, has a much larger tidal effect.

LeeH

 


(published on 05/08/2016)

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