Motion and Its Causes

Force and Newton’s Laws of Motion

What’s the strength of gravitational fields of other astronomical objects?

This table shows the properties of the sun, planets, and Earth’s moon. It also shows the strength of the sun’s gravitational field at each planet and the strength of the planets’ gravitational fields at their surfaces. The sun and Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune are gaseous and have no solid surfaces.

Which planet has the strongest gravitational field? Is it also the planet with the largest mass? Why do you think that the sun, which has a mass 1,000 times that of Jupiter, has a surface gravitational field only about 10 times that of Jupiter? As a hint, look at the equation that defines g and see what properties other than mass are involved.


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