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Jan15-06, 01:43 PM
I am having a difficult time trying to compartmentalize how the Sun, even with its incredible mass, could exert any significant gravitational pull on a planet such as Pluto considering a distance of almost 3.6 billion miles. Not to mention the other even smaller objects that are "trapped" if you will, by the Sun's gravitational pull. For those of you that have the mathamatical skills let's try this as it may help my understanding-Let's substitute Earth for Pluto at a distance of 3.6 billion miles. what would be the extent of the tidal pull on the oceans. I would be surprised to find that a calculation would yield as much as an inch. What say ye!!!
Well, since tidal forces fall of by the cube of distance and Pluto is roughly 40 time further from the Sun than the Earth, The tides would be about
1/164000 of what they are now.