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Forces and Motion
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Gravity



Gravity
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.83

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    centripetal, zips, determined, flyby, spaceship, spacecraft, interplanetary, neutron, force, power, atmosphere, mass, fuel, scale, mission, rocket


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Gravity
By Sharon Fabian
  

1     Gravity is not just a force on planet Earth. Each planet has its own gravity, and each planet's gravity is different. Our moon has gravity too. So do the moons that circle other planets. The sun has gravity (lots of it). So do all of the other stars. In fact, everything has some gravity, but only really big things like planets, moons, and stars, have enough gravity to be measured.
 
2     Here on Earth we measure gravity using a scale. Any type of scale will do, whether it is a triple beam balance in your school's science lab or the bathroom scale in your house. Your weight is the measure of gravity's pull on you. Scientists often like to use the word mass instead of weight. For everyday matters, here on earth, your weight and your mass are the same, but that is not true everywhere! If you ever become an interplanetary traveler, you will see that your weight is different on each planet. This is because a planet's gravity is determined by its own size, or mass. Larger planets have more gravity; smaller planets have less gravity. This is true for suns and moons too.
 
3     Suppose you weigh 100 pounds here on Earth. Would you like to know what you would weigh in different locations in space? Just look at this list.
                Earth - 100 lbs
 Moon - 17 lbs
 Mercury - 38 lbs
 Jupiter - 236 lbs
 Pluto - 7 lbs
 the sun - 2407 lbs
 a white dwarf - 130,000,000 lbs
 a neutron star - 14,000,000,000,000 lbs
 in a spaceship far out in space - 0 lbs


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