Testing gravity

9th September 2005 at 01:00
Some astrologers claim that astrology has a scientific basis and that it works because of the gravitational pull of the planets, the Moon and the Sun on human beings. But how strong is that pull? In a physics class, you can ask your students to calculate the gravitational attraction between a person and the planets using Newton's law of gravity.

For example, the gravitational pull between a person weighing 100kg and the planet Mars is 7.0 x 10-7 N. However the gravitational pull between a person weighing 100kg and a motor car one metre away is 66.7 x 10-7 N, nearly 10 times as strong. The objects you encounter here on Earth will have a much greater gravitational pull on you than faraway planets. All the data you need for this, and indeed all the calculations, can be found at: www.skepticreport.comastrologygravity.htm

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