A Question of Gravity: Forces from the Planets


  • William Mendoza Department of Natural Sciences, Florida State College, Jacksonville, FL 32246 USA




gravity, tidal forces, estimated celestial forces at the surface of the Earth


Gravitational forces from many celestial bodies of the Solar System will be investigated to address a mistaken idea sometimes expressed by scientists on the relative effects from such bodies as compared to those from a nearby person. The question to be examined is whether the gravitational force between obstetrician and infant at one meter of separation distance is truly greater than that of any planet in the Earth-Sun system. All of the major celestial bodies will be quantitatively considered including the largest asteroids and planetary moons. The range of force from each body will be numerically estimated based on (i) separation distances and (ii) geometric considerations from the plane of the orbit. In addition to consideration of the central force issue, the tidal forces from the celestial bodies will also be quantitatively described and tabulated. Some surprising conclusions from these analyses will then be presented.


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How to Cite

W. Mendoza, “A Question of Gravity: Forces from the Planets”, EPH IJSE, vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 01–06, Feb. 2022.