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How does the force of gravity exerted by the Sun on Jupiter compare to the force of gravity exerted by Jupiter on the Sun?
Question Date: 2015-11-09
Answer 1:

That's a good question. The gravitational force between any two objects can be described by the following equation:

F = (G*M1*M2)/r2, where G is the gravitational constant (approximately 6.67 x 10-11 Nm2kg-2 ), M1 is the mass of the first object, M2 is the mass of the second object, and r is the distance between the objects.

Jupiter has a mass of about 1.9 x 1027kg. The sun's mass is about 2.0 x 1030kg, and the distance between them on average is roughly 7.8 x 1011m. Plugging all of these values into our equation gives:

F = (6.67 * 10-11 Nm2 kg-2)*(1.9 * 1027 kg)*(2.0 * 1030 kg)/(7.8 * 1011 m)2 ~ 4.166009204 × 1023 N

Since multiplication is commutative (order doesn't matter), it doesn't matter which object you call "object 1" and which one you call "object 2". Thus, the force of gravity exerted by the sun on Jupiter is the same as the force of gravity exerted by Jupiter on the sun

I hope that helps!

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