Related topics: galaxies · physical review letters · dark matter · moon · nasa

Antarctic glacier named after GFZ satellite mission 'GRACE'

A glacier in the West Antarctic has been named after the German-American satellite mission GRACE. GRACE stands for "Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment." Between 2002 and 2017, the scientific mission measured the Earth's ...

Jumping drops get boost from gravity

A decade ago a new idea was brought into the general scientific community—shedding water from condensers was more efficient by using surface tension to make microscopic water droplets "jump" off the surface. The idea took ...

Video: 100 years of gravity

One hundred years ago this month, observations performed during a total solar eclipse proved for the first time the gravitational bending of light predicted by Albert Einstein's new theory of gravity, general relativity. ...

Clocks, gravity, and the limits of relativity

The International Space Station will host the most precise clocks ever to leave Earth. Accurate to a second in 300 million years the clocks will push the measurement of time to test the limits of the theory of relativity ...

Elliptical galaxies shed new light on dark matter

In the 1930s, it was first noticed that the dynamics of astrophysical objects (galaxies, galaxy clusters and the universe itself) required an invisible and unknown form of mass, known now as dark matter. Strong mass discrepancies ...

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Gravitation

Gravitation is a natural phenomenon by which objects with mass attract one another. In everyday life, gravitation is most commonly thought of as the agency which lends weight to objects with mass. Gravitation compels dispersed matter to coalesce, thus accounting for the existence of the Earth, the Sun, and most of the macroscopic objects in the universe. It is responsible for keeping the Earth and the other planets in their orbits around the Sun; for keeping the Moon in its orbit around the Earth; for the formation of tides; for convection, by which fluid flow occurs under the influence of a temperature gradient and gravity; for heating the interiors of forming stars and planets to very high temperatures; and for various other phenomena observed on Earth. Modern physics describes gravitation using the general theory of relativity, in which gravitation is a consequence of the curvature of spacetime which governs the motion of inertial objects. The simpler Newton's law of universal gravitation provides an accurate approximation for most calculations.

The terms gravitation and gravity are mostly interchangeable in everyday use, but a distinction is made in scientific circles. "Gravitation" is a general term describing the phenomenon by which bodies with mass are attracted to one another, while "gravity" refers specifically to the net force exerted by the Earth on objects in its vicinity as well as by other factors, such as the Earth's rotation.

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