May 27, 2022

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This is how planets are weighed

This is how planets are weighed

Have you ever wondered how scientists calculate the weight of planets? Technically, the correct thing is to talk about mass, not weight, because the weight of an object is variable according to the strength of the gravitational field to which it is exposed, however, its mass is always the same. Let’s see what researchers and scientists take into account to calculate the mass of a planet.

If you are passionate about everything related to space: planets, stars, comets, satellites, etc. Today there are many Available astronomy software Through it, discovering the characteristics and qualities of the different planets of our solar system, constellations, astronomical phenomena, and others. Today we will explain how scientists weigh planets.

Gravity is directly related to weight

When a new planet is discovered, outside our solar system, astronomers measure its mass among other things. When performing the calculation, it is necessary to take into account the force of gravity. Scientists can tell how strongly a planet attracts other elements. The heavier it is, the stronger the attraction to everything around it, for example, your moons.

Let’s understand it with a very simple example. When we scale in Libra, the result we get is nothing more or less than the force with which Earth’s gravity attracts us. The strength of gravity is different on all planets, so if you step on a scale on another planet, the result will be different. The The study of gravity From a celestial body it is allowed to know what its mass is, therefore, no kind of scientific instrument is required to find out.

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Planets of the solar system

Let’s talk about mass, not weight

In order to find out how much a planet weighs, scientists must focus and discover two things: How long does it take for objects near said planet to make a complete revolution and how far away from the planet in question. In other words, the time it takes for an object to orbit a planet depends on its distance from it and on its weight.

As we have already expected, the weight of an object depends on its mass and the gravitational force of the planet on which it is located. It is for this very reason that an object can have the extension different weight Depending on which planet you are on. This is the main reason why astronomers and scientists measure the mass of planets, not their weight.

What is the mass of the planets in the solar system

The mass of the Earth is about 5,970,000,000,000,000,000,000 kilograms, although there is a shorter way to write this number: 5.97 x 1024 kg.

In the following table you will see the masses of the different planets in our solar system in order from smallest to largest and compare their masses to that of the Earth.

The mass of the different planets of the solar system

The mass of the different planets of the solar system

Therefore, to find out the weight of the planets, it is necessary to know how long the bodies take to revolve around them and the distance at which these elements are located, whether they are moons or ships, for example.

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