What Would Happen If We Dropped A Ball On Different Planets?
Summer means it’s time to play ball. So what would it be like to play ball in various locations in our Solar System?
Planetary scientist Dr. James O’Donoghue has created a fun animation showing how fast an object falls over the surfaces of places like the Sun, Earth, Ceres, Jupiter, Moon and Pluto.
In the virtual simulation, a ball dropped from a height of 1 kilometer on the surface of each of the objects is shown and it is assumed that there is no air resistance. For example, you can see that a ball dropped from that distance on the Sun falls in 2.7 seconds, while on Earth it takes 14.3 seconds.
“This video gives you an idea of the amount of attraction you’ll feel on the surface of each of the objects,” says O’Donoghue.
So how are the gravitational forces of the major planets compared to Earth? It is interesting; The ball takes 13.8 seconds to fall on Saturn, while it takes 15 seconds to fall on Uranus.
“It may be surprising to see that large planets exhibit similar gravitational pull at the surface to minor planets,” explains O’Donoghue.
“For example, Uranus pulls the ball slower than Earth. Why? Due to Uranus’s low average density, the surface is located away from most of the mass. Similarly, Mars has about twice the mass of Mercury, but you can see that the gravity on the surface is essentially the same… This means that Mercury is much denser than Mars.”
The most boring place to play ball is on Ceres, where a ball travels 1 km in 84.3 seconds.