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Gravitational Force Examples

What are Gravitational Force Examples

Gravitational Force Examples. Gravitational force manifests itself in various scenarios. Let us have a look at some examples to better understand its influence:

a. Gravitational Force Examples on Earth

The gravitational force on Earth is responsible for keeping objects grounded. It gives weight to everything we see around us. When we drop an object, it falls toward the ground due to the gravitational force exerted by the Earth’s mass.

b. Gravitational Force Examples in Space

In space, gravitational force plays a crucial role in maintaining the orbital paths of celestial bodies. Planets orbit around the Sun, satellites revolve around the Earth, and moons are held in orbit around their respective planets. This delicate balance of gravitational forces ensures the stability and harmonious motion of celestial objects in space.

c. Gravitational Force Examples between Celestial Bodies

The gravitational force between celestial bodies is awe-inspiring. It governs the interactions between planets, stars, galaxies, and even clusters of galaxies. For example, the Moon orbits around the Earth due to the gravitational force between them, and the Earth orbits the Sun for the same reason. The immense gravitational force between supermassive black holes at the centres of galaxies can even influence the motion of entire galaxies.

d. Gravitational Force Examples in Everyday Life

While we often think of gravity on a cosmic scale, it also affects our daily lives. When we jump, we experience a downward force that brings us back to the ground. It influences the flow of water in rivers and the formation of tides in the oceans. Even when we sit or stand, the gravitational force acts on our bodies, keeping us firmly rooted to the Earth.

Real-Life Gravitational Force Examples

Gravitational Force Examples
Gravitational Force Examples

a. Apple falling from a tree. 

When an apple is ripe, it becomes too heavy for the branch to support. The force of gravity pulls the apple down, and it falls to the ground.

b. Ball rolling down a hill. 

When a ball is rolling down a hill, the force of gravity is pulling it down the hill. The faster the ball rolls, the stronger the force of gravity becomes.

c. Person jumping into the air. 

When a person jumps into the air, they are pushing against the ground with their feet. This force pushes the person up into the air. However, the force of gravity pulls the person back down to the ground.

d. Moon orbiting the Earth. 

The Moon is held in orbit around the Earth by the force of gravity. The Earth’s gravity is much stronger than the Moon’s gravity, so the Moon is constantly falling towards the Earth. However, the Moon is also moving sideways at a very fast speed. This sideways motion keeps the Moon from falling into the Earth.

e. Earth orbiting the Sun. 

The Earth is held in orbit around the Sun by the force of gravity. The Sun’s gravity is much stronger than the Earth’s gravity, so the Earth is constantly falling towards the Sun. However, the Earth is also moving sideways at a very fast speed. This sideways motion keeps the Earth from falling into the Sun.

f. The formation of stars and planets. 

Stars and planets are formed by the gravitational collapse of clouds of gas and dust. As the cloud collapses, the force of gravity increases. This increase in gravity causes the cloud to heat up and eventually form a star or planet.

g. Black holes. 

  1. Black holes are formed when massive stars collapse at the end of their lives. The force of gravity is so strong at the center of a black hole that not even light can escape.


  1. The tides are caused by the gravitational pull of the Moon and the Sun. The Moon’s gravity is stronger than the Sun’s gravity, so it has a greater effect on the tides. The tides are highest when the Moon is closest to the Earth and lowest when the Moon is farthest from the Earth.


  1. Artificial satellites are placed in orbit around the Earth by the force of gravity. The satellite’s speed is carefully controlled so that it falls around the Earth instead of falling into the Earth.

Space travel. 

Spacecraft are able to travel through space by overcoming the force of gravity. To do this, they need to be moving very fast. The faster the spacecraft moves, the more it can overcome the force of gravity.

5. Applications of Gravitational Force

The understanding and application of gravitational force extend beyond theoretical concepts. Here are some practical applications:

a. Astronomy and Astrophysics

Gravitational force is crucial in studying the behaviour of celestial objects. Astronomers rely on gravitational force calculations to determine the trajectories of comets, the formation of galaxies, and the existence of exoplanets. It helps unravel the mysteries of our vast universe.

b. Satellite Orbits

Gravitational force enables the stable orbiting of satellites around the Earth. By carefully calculating the gravitational forces at play, scientists and engineers can design satellite orbits that facilitate communication, weather monitoring, navigation, and various other applications.

c. Weight Calculation

Gravitational force is directly linked to weight. Understanding the gravitational force acting on objects allows us to calculate their weight on different celestial bodies. For example, an object would weigh less on the Moon due to its weaker gravitational force compared to Earth.

d. Tidal Effects

Gravitational force plays a significant role in the formation of tides in oceans and seas. The gravitational pull of the Moon and, to a lesser extent, the Sun, creates tidal bulges that result in the ebb and flow of tides. This phenomenon affects coastal ecosystems, navigation, and renewable energy generation through tidal power.

6. Conclusion

Gravitational force is a fundamental and captivating force that shapes our universe. From keeping us grounded on Earth to governing the motion of planets and stars, its impact is profound and far-reaching. Understanding gravitational force and its various examples broadens our knowledge of the cosmos and allows us to appreciate the wonders of nature.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How does gravitational force work? Gravitational force is an attractive force between objects with mass. It pulls objects toward each other and determines their motion.

2. Can gravitational force be repulsive? No, the gravitational force is always attractive. It never repels objects.

3. What is the difference between weight and mass? Mass refers to the amount of matter in an object, while weight is the force exerted on an object due to gravity.

4. Why is the gravitational force weaker on the Moon than on Earth? The gravitational force on the Moon is weaker because the Moon has less mass compared to Earth.

5. How does gravitational force contribute to the formation of black holes? Gravitational force plays a crucial role in the collapse of massive stars, leading to the formation of black holes where the gravitational pull is incredibly strong.

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University of Western Australia