Ever dreamt of playing ball on a different planet? Well, you might finally find out how it’s like thanks to a planetary scientist who dared to dream a bit more.
Dr. James O’Donogohue came up with quite the method of putting together a fun and catchy animation of how quickly a ball falls onto the surfaces of different planets, such as the Moon, Ceres, Jupiter, or the Sun.
Here is what you need to know.
Dropping a Ball Across Our Solar System
O’Donoghue’s experiment is quite intriguing. He succeeded in finding a way to edit a fun animation of something unexpected: dropping a ball on different planets.
“This should give an idea for the pull you would feel on each object,” stated O’Donoghue.
In the following video, we can see a ball dropping from 0.6 miles (1km) to the surface of places like the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Moon, Mars, Ceres, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and even Pluto, assuming no air resistance:
As you can notice, it takes 13.8 seconds for the object to drop on Saturn, and 15 seconds on Uranus, which is genuinely intriguing! And that’s not all.
- on the Sun it takes 2.7 seconds for a ball to drop’
- 14.3 seconds on Earth;
- 84.3 seconds on Ceres.
O’Donoghue noted how Uranus actually pulls the object slower than our planet. The reason?
He says that Uranus’ low average density puts the surface considerably apart from the majority of the mass The same happens with Mars, which has almost twice the mass of Mercury.
The planetary scientist joined forces with astronomer Rami Mandow and used a NASA planetary fact sheet to make the animation.
Next, O’Donoghue referenced one of the most popular gravity experiments led by astronaut Dave Scott on the Moon. That includes a feather and a hammer, dropped at the same time and height on the Moon.
Astronaut Scott found that both objects would land simultaneously due to significant air resistance.