Calculate the gravitational force of the moon

  • Thread starter annjolino
  • Start date
  • #1
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Homework Statement


COnsider two identical 1kg blobs of water on opposite sides of the Earth, one on the side facing the moon and the other on the side farthest away from the moon.

a)calculate the gravitational force of the moon on the blob on the side of the earth closest to the moon. (considering that the distance i have for earth to moon is centre to centre.)

b) calculate the force of the moon on the blob on the farthest side away from the moon.

Distance from Earth to moon = 3.84E8
Radius of Earth = 6.37E6
G= 6.67259E-11
Mass of Earth = 5.98E24
mass of Moon = 7.36E22

Homework Equations



F=G(m1m2)/d^2

The Attempt at a Solution



seeing how the blobs of water on the surface i assumed i would have to subtract the radius of the earth from the distance to give me a more accurate distance from blob to moon.
3.84E8-6.37E6 = 3.78E8.

now factored that into equation

F=G(m1m2)/d^2
F=6.6725(5.98E24x 7.36E22)/3.78E8^2
F=2.06E20

thats a huge number does that seem correct..

for b) all i changed was the distance which i added the radius of the earth instead which gave 3.9E8
F=1.92E20

i hope this is right....
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
LowlyPion
Homework Helper
3,090
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You are likely off by the factor of the mass of the Earth.

They only asked about attraction to the moon. The other mass that you are considering are the 1 kg blobs.

As to your distances You would do well to take the Earth moon distance and add a radius of earth to one and subtract for the other.

Good luck.
 
  • #3
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Oh ok i see now i was actually calculating the attraction of the earth to the moon instead of the blob to the moon
cheers thanks for that.
 
  • #4
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ok now i get Fnear= 3.4e-5
and Ffar= 3.2e-5

that sounds much better i think.
 
  • #5
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Quick question are the units for the gravitational force N ??? seeing how in the equation there are 2 kg / m^2
 
  • #6
LowlyPion
Homework Helper
3,090
4
Quick question are the units for the gravitational force N ??? seeing how in the equation there are 2 kg / m^2
Check out the units of the gravitational constant.
 

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