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Newtons law of gravity.docx

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Department
Astronomy
Course
AST201H5
Professor
J B Lester
Semester
Winter

Description
Newtons law of gravity • Gravity is a universal force between all object having mass • Force of gravity depends on all masses • Force of gravity depends on the separation of masses • Larger separation => weaker force • Weakens as [1/(separation)^2] = inverse square • But force of gravity never goes to zero • The universal law of gravitation tells us the strength of the gravitational attraction between the two objects • Fg=G [(m1m2)/(d^2)] • M1 and M2 are the masses of the two objects • D is the distance Gravity is important for Astronomy • Astronomical object have • Huge masses => huge force of gravity • Huge separations => huge force of gravity • Small separation => huge force of gravity • Mass is a positive quantity • Gravity does not cancel out • Gravity never stops, even at the largest distances • Other forces • + and – electric charges cancel out • North and South magnetic poles cancel out Chapter 3 Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) made the best observations of the planets before the invention of the telescope Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) worked as Tycho assistant to analyze his observations • Kepler discovered 3 laws st • 1 law: planets have elliptical orbits NOT circles (his had been an assumption from the time of the Greek astronomers) nd • 2 law: plants or
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