Gravity

Why does a ball not just fly out into space when I kick it? What is that force that makes things drop quickly to the ground? This force is gravity. Gravity is the powerful force that pulls all objects towards the centre of the Earth. Gravity gives weight to objects.  Without gravity we would all just float away!

Gravitational pull in space gets weaker, this is why astronauts feel weightless and fly around. ‚ÄčSo do pencils and other objects.


Courtesy: nasa.gov

Gravity: The Force that Keeps Us in Place

Gravity is the universe’s basic force. It is what keeps all planets and stars in their place. All matter has gravity. The greater the mass and matter of something, the greater it's gravitational pull. Planets and stars have a lot more matter, which is why they have more gravity, and pull other objects a lot more.

Gravity keeps the Earth in its orbit. Just enough pull from the Sun and the planets around it to keep it in its place!  

gravity controls planets movement around sun
Courtesy: nasa.gov

Size and Distance Matter

The pull from the Earth is a lot stronger because we are too small in comparison to the Earth. This is why, when the sky-jumpers jump off a plane, they come straight back down to Earth. But if we went far away from our planet, we could even have the gravity of the other planets pull us towards them!  

Yes, gravity also depends on how far we are from something. The farther away we are from an object the weaker is its gravitational pull. The gravity of the Sun is a lot stronger than the Earth, but since we are on Earth, we are just much closer to the gravitational pull of the Earth, and are not pulled towards the Sun. Thank God, else we would fry!

Did you know?

Gravity pulls things towards us too – but it's just too weak for us to feel or notice it.

Taking Off!

How to then rockets take off into space? How do we land on other planets? How do we escape from the Earth’s gravitational pull?

To travel to space a rocket must reach a speed high enough to break free of Earth’s gravity. This speed is called escape velocity. This is speed starting at the Earth’s surface is 11.2 kilometres per second!!

A rocket burns huge amounts of fuel to get the power to reach the speeds required to escape from Earth’s gravity.

rocket launch nasa
Courtesy: nasa.gov

Check out our young V-Explorers defy gravity with this cool experiment on Gravity!