How Much Does the Moon Weigh?
It weighs roughly zero pounds.
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Okay, that’s most likely not the answer you were expecting. Allow us to define.
When you stand also on a range and weigh yourself (in pounds), you’re actually taking a measure of pressure. Specifically, the pressure your body is exerting downwards on the range, due to Earth’s acceleration of gravity. If you remember Newton, pressure is equal to an object’s mass multiplied by its acceleration (F=ma). The traditional unit for mass is kilograms, which is also exactly how human being weigh things basically anywhere that isn’t America.
So weight is the force somepoint exerts on one more thing because of gravity (prefer you exert on Earth). If you’re currently taking a physics class, sometimes you’ll check out it arranged as the force something exerts ago on another point as a result of gravity. But that’s much much less intuitive in our opinion, so we’ll be pointing out weight in regards to the previous.
For all intents and functions, the Moon is not accelerating towards the Earth (actually, it sort of is, however we’ll obtain to that). So, in the F=ma equation, F = 0 because a = 0. Because weight is a meacertain of force, weight = 0.
What Is the Moon’s Mass?
Because the Moon’s acceleration is 0, the worth of its mass becomes irappropriate once calculating its weight loved one to Planet. But, you could be wondering exactly how a lot mass the Moon has? That’s a known worth. It’s around 7.35 * 10^22 kilograms.
That’s 73,500,000,000,000,000,000,000 kilograms. To put that into perspective, a blue whale is around 200 lots. That comes out to 181,437 kilograms. This means that approximately 405,000,000,000,000,000 blue whales equal the mass of the Moon. Suffice to say the Moon is hefty. But the Moon is only 1.2% of the Earth’s mass (around 6*10^24 kg), so the Moon is actually super light in the cosmic system of everything.
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Why Does the Moon have Zero Acceleration?
We’ve currently established that the Moon isn’t accelerating in the direction of Planet, which is true to a degree. The reason why the Moon isn’t presently on a crash course towards Planet is because of its orlittle bit.
It’s recognized that the Moon orbits around the Earth. We’ve put together a simplified diagram of how orbits work below. In summary, the Moon is increasing towards the Earth, yet it likewise has actually forward momentum perpendicular to its acceleration in the direction of the Earth.
Because these 2 vectors are approximately equal, the Moon ends up relocating in the circular path outlined on the very same diagram.
Since one vector is momentum and also the various other is acceleration, the Moon will eventually (over the course of a very long time) stop orbiting the Planet. At some point its momentum might degeneration till Earth’s gravity is much greater, in which case the Moon will collide through the Planet. As it stands though, the Moon is actually slowly drifting ameans from Earth. Some theorize that instead, the Moon is actually destined to exit Earth’s gravity and also drift off right into space.
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Of course, before any type of of this happens, the sun will certainly enter its red giant phase. As it starts to expand also around 5 billion years from currently, it will swallow up the terrestrial planets. And the Moon will certainly have actually the exact same unfortunate fate as Earth. So we’ve got that going for us. Which is nice.