Have you perhaps wanted to go into space someday, so you could float around and do somersaults like the astronauts you see on TV? You know, out in space, where everything floats, because … because …
because there’s no gravity in outer space???
- Hmm… If there were no gravity in space, what would keep the Earth orbiting the Sun? Or the Moon orbiting the Earth?
- Not quite sure why astronauts float? You can try out my new article that aims to explain it — appropriate, if I’ve done it well, for all audiences.
11 thoughts on “Floating in Space … But Why?”
I think the understood meaning is microgravity not zero gravity
But ‘microgravity’ itself is a term for ‘when there is little gravity’ which suggests that gravity is absent. (To be more specific G-forces are nearly zero.) This just adds to the confusion.
God drew lines in spacetime called geodesics. When astronauts seek out these specially marked lines, where they can truly be at rest, instead tirelessly accelerating all the time like we do here on the surface of the planet. It is exhausting.
Read “Noise” by Jack Vance and make up your minds.
Great job as usual. It might be worth mentioning at “End of discussion” that all objects regardless of composition (the coins are metal and the book is paper) as well as no matter how heavy fall in exactly the same way.
(Please note that the link to the article is invisible in some browsers – you may want to change the color of the hyperlinked text.)
Another proof that gravity is still there: the Apollo spacecraft where going at escape velocity (~24,000 MPH) when leaving earth but over time slowed down to ~2,000 MPH by Earth’s gravity. Then lunar gravity dominated and they accelerated again.
I remember in grade school seeing an animation of a cannon on a mountain that was very much like Matt’s figure 5. The animation was a great way to explain orbits to a ten year old…
Nice article as usual. I will try this on curious laymen!! Sometime I have used centrifugal force (a bad word) balancing gravitation in rotating frame. Apart from the fact that purists may hate it, it does not work in a free fall straight down. Thanks.
The Darwinism of Physics:
Maybe because your always in a sense, falling? Falling around the world.
Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it
or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a little bit,
but instead of that, this is magnificent blog.
A fantastic read. I will certainly be back.
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