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Homework Help: Would a Bird Be Able to Fly on The Moon?

  1. Jun 20, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    The bird is fitted with a breathing apparatus, released on the moon could it fly?

    2. Relevant equations

    It doesn't violate any of Newtons laws, but I could be missing something.

    3. The attempt at a solution

    The best answer that is listed is that the question is in error.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 20, 2012 #2

    phinds

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    Does the moon have an atmosphere?
     
  4. Jun 20, 2012 #3
    What are the forces acting on a bird as it flies?
     
  5. Jun 20, 2012 #4

    Doc Al

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    What's your reasoning?
     
  6. Jun 20, 2012 #5
    The moon has gravity. And I don't see how the laws of motion could be changed.
     
  7. Jun 20, 2012 #6
    Here is another, a feather and a coin are dropped on the moon from the same height which hits sooner? I know I have to take the moon's gravity into account. Is there a formula to solve this?

    I'd like to think they would drop at the same time because of no wind resistince?
     
  8. Jun 20, 2012 #7

    Pengwuino

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    The gravitational pull is not what keeps a bird up. How does a bird on Earth stay aloft?
     
  9. Jun 20, 2012 #8
    By air.. And there is no wind resistance from what I concluded with in the other problem..
     
  10. Jun 20, 2012 #9

    Doc Al

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    The laws of motion are certainly not changed on the moon. Does the moon have what is required for a bird to fly? How do they fly anyway?
     
  11. Jun 20, 2012 #10

    turbo

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    Can a fish swim without water? Can a bird fly without air? Just a hint @ OP.
     
  12. Jun 20, 2012 #11
    No, the bird would not be able to fly. Violating Newtons second law then?
     
  13. Jun 20, 2012 #12

    phinds

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    why do you think a law would be violated?
     
  14. Jun 20, 2012 #13
    The choices are violating newtons 1st, 2'd, or 3rd law or no gravity on the moon or the question is in error. I think the 2'd law because accel=net force/ mass, accel. would be low enough the bird could not fly? I am still thinking.
     
  15. Jun 20, 2012 #14
    I have to right now. Thank you for any further help.
     
  16. Jun 20, 2012 #15

    Pengwuino

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    If those are the only options, the question was not posed with the correct answer.

    If the question is posed as "IF a bird were to fly on the moon, what laws of physics would be violated", then there is a solution. If there is no air, there is nothing for a bird to apply any forces to to keep aloft.
     
  17. Jun 20, 2012 #16
    Technicality: the bird could be placed in a low orbit around the moon complete with breathing apparatus.

    So yes, a bird *can be made to* fly astronautically on the moon but not using its innate biological capacity for aerodynamic flight.
     
  18. Jun 21, 2012 #17
    I think it violates Newton's 3rd. Law. Action up reaction none. As in conservation of momentum.
    Once you violate the law, it becomes unphysical. If a ghost can push you down, but you can't push him/her back then the ghost is unphysical.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2012
  19. Jun 21, 2012 #18
    Depends on how you define "fly". How much time should one be in the air in order to "fly".
     
  20. Jun 21, 2012 #19
    If it glides, it needs 3rd law too.
    Maybe it just orbiting the moon at low altitude.
    Radius of the moon, 1,737.10 km (0.273 Earths)
    Acceleration say 1/3 of g.

    mg=0.5mv2/r
    v≈3km/sec.

    I don't know of any bird can fly that fast.
     
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