Gravity is an attractive force that exists between any two objects in the universe. The force of attraction between two objects depends on the masses of the objects involved and on the distance between the objects. Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation quantifies this attractive force in an equation: F = G•m1•m2/d2. In this equation, m1 and m2 represent the masses of the objects involved no matter how big or small and d represents the distance between the objects. G is the universal gravitation constant which holds a value of 6.67 × 10-11 N•m2/kg2. Gravity is commonly misconceived as a force that simply holds us on Earth or keeps planets in orbit however, there are gravitational forces between all objects but we do not normally feel these because Earth provides such a large mass that its gravitational force overshadows all of these other ones.
1. When you hold a ball up in the air, the mass of Earth allows the ball to fall to the Earth.
2. If the moon stopped revolving around the Earth, the mass of the Earth would pull the moon to the Earth.
3. If there was no larger mass around us, then a pencil would be attracted to our body because our body has a larger mass.
4. As the moon revolves around the Earth, its gravitational attraction causes the Earth to change shape just enough to cause the water in the oceans to move in and out forming tides.
5. If the sun were smaller in mass, then the Earth would slingshot out of its orbit and go hurdling into space.
6. A baby bird crawls out of its nest and gravity from the Earth pulls it to the ground.
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