Earth's Revolution and Gravity
Name: JungHo N.
Can Earth's revolution affect Earth's accelation due to gravity ?
I learned some factors affecting Acceleration due to Gravity are
(1)Altitude,(2)Depth Below the Earth's Surface,(3)Rotation of the Earth etc...
But I think Earth's revolution affect Earth's accelation due to gravity.
That is to say (1)Sun is pulling the Earth -> (2)Earth go around the sun
-> (3)Earth have centrifugal force -> (4)Earth's centrifugal force can
affect Earth's accelation due to gravity. Is this Right ? I'm confusing. I
want your advice.
The first thing to realize is that "centrifugal force" is not real. A
rotating object does not really experience a force away from the center of
rotation. It is just the fact that EVERY object "prefers" to move in a
straight line. When an object is pulled into a circle, there is no force
pulling it out. That is just the object trying to continue in a straight
line. The Earth does not have "centrifugal force".
The Earth does experience a centripetal force: the Sun pulling the Earth
inward. This centripetal force is gravity. This gravitational pull from
the Sun does NOT affect gravity at the surface of the Earth because it pulls
on the Earth AND everything on the Earth. Both you and the Earth fall
freely around the Sun together. Any effect it has on your body matches the
effect it has on the Earth. As a result, you don't notice it. If the Earth
were locked in place, not affected by the Sun, then you would easily notice
the Sun's gravity.
Another example of such an event is the feeling of "weightlessness" on the
space shuttle. The shuttle falls freely around the Earth due to
gravitational pull. The astronauts experience the same effect, falling with
the space shuttle. Since they fall together, gravity does not try to pull
the astronauts through the floor of the shuttle. The astronauts do not
notice their weight when on the shuttle. The astronauts don't notice the
pull of the Earth's gravity. Since the shuttle orbits the Earth, falling
with the Earth around the Sun, the astronauts don't notice the Sun's gravity
either. To notice weight, gravity must pull you against something. Your
body must press against a floor.
Dr. Ken Mellendorf
Illinois Central College
You are right, but the acceleration is very small -- around 0.006 m/s/s,
to 9.8 m/s/s from gravity.
When doing problems involving multiple forces,
sometimes it is easiest to work with one item at a
time, then combining the resulting effects. In this
case, isolate the gravity, because it is the item of
interest. This would mean that the "acceleration due
to gravity" would only be affected by gravity.
Centripetal force, air resistance, etc., should be
accounted separately from gravity.
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Update: June 2012