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

Image: Partial Gravity Simulator practice

In preparation for his Beyond mission, ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano was at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, USA, in March 2019. Here he is strapped to the Partial Gravity Simulator to practice repairing the dark-matter ...

What Earth's gravity reveals about climate change

On March 17, 2002, the German-U.S. satellite duo GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) was launched to map the global gravitational field with unprecedented precision. The mission lasted 15 years, more than three ...

Travel through wormholes is possible, but slow

A Harvard physicist has shown that wormholes can exist: tunnels in curved space-time, connecting two distant places, through which travel is possible.

Martian soil detox could lead to new medicines

Bacterial resistance to antibiotics is one of humankind's major long-term health challenges. Now research into helping humans live on Mars could help address this looming problem.

Testing the value of artificial gravity for astronaut health

Test subjects in Cologne, Germany will take to their beds for 60 days from 25 March as part of a groundbreaking study, funded by European Space Agency ESA and US space agency NASA, into how artificial gravity could help astronauts ...

Taking gravity from strength to strength

Ten years ago, ESA launched one of its most innovative satellites. GOCE spent four years measuring a fundamental force of nature: gravity. This extraordinary mission not only yielded new insights into our gravity field, but ...

Gravity influences how we make decisions – new research

Returning to Earth from the International Space Station, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield remarked how making the right decision is vital in high pressure environments, saying: "Most of the time, you only really get one ...

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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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