APOD: Solar System Ball Drop (2021 Aug 25)

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APOD: Solar System Ball Drop (2021 Aug 25)

Post by APOD Robot » Wed Aug 25, 2021 4:05 am

Image Solar System Ball Drop

Explanation: Does a ball drop faster on Earth, Jupiter, or Uranus? The featured animation shows a ball dropping from one kilometer high toward the surfaces of famous solar system bodies, assuming no air resistance. The force of gravity depends on the mass of the attracting object, with higher masses pulling down with greater forces. But gravitational force also depends on distance from the center of gravity, with shorter distances causing the ball to drop faster. Combining both mass and distance, it might be surprising to see that Uranus pulls the ball down slightly slower than Earth, despite containing over 14 times more mass. This happens because Uranus has a much lower density, which puts its cloud tops further away from its center of mass. Although the falling ball always speeds up, if you were on the ball you would not feel this acceleration because you would be in free-fall. Of the three planets mentioned, the video demonstrates a ball drops even faster on Jupiter than either Earth and Uranus.

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Re: APOD: Solar System Ball Drop (2021 Aug 25)

Post by SpaceCadet » Wed Aug 25, 2021 4:30 am

Does the slower fall speed make it safer for a person to fall that distance?

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Re: APOD: Solar System Ball Drop (2021 Aug 25)

Post by Ann » Wed Aug 25, 2021 5:40 am

Click to play embedded YouTube video.
Click to play embedded YouTube video.

And here I've always been told that heavy and lightweight objects fall at the same speed... :wink:
Of course, I wasn't considering objects falling on different bodies in the Solar system... :wink:
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Re: APOD: Solar System Ball Drop (2021 Aug 25)

Post by JohnD » Wed Aug 25, 2021 8:53 am

SpaceCadet wrote:
Wed Aug 25, 2021 4:30 am
Does the slower fall speed make it safer for a person to fall that distance?
SC,
You will note, if you watched the video, that even onto Ceres that has the lowest g used, the terminal velocity was 90kph, or 55mph. All others were in hundreds of kph. Since your falling astronaut will lack the security of a car shell, seats and seat belts, they must be considered to have the same risk as a pedestrian hit by a car at that speed. Hit at 90kph, the probability of death is 1. They will die. Even on Earth. The damage to their space suit is incidental - they will die from impact, and then from vacuum, cold and hypoxia.

John

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Re: APOD: Solar System Ball Drop (2021 Aug 25)

Post by orin stepanek » Wed Aug 25, 2021 12:58 pm

Interesting that on Earth objects drop faster than on Uranus; yet it takes more thrust to reach the escape velocity on Uranus than on Earth!
ESCAPE VELOCITY
76,968km/h; Uranus
40,284km/h; Earth
41NxxwsUPCL.jpg
Now this kitty is a Cool Cat
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Re: APOD: Solar System Ball Drop (2021 Aug 25)

Post by Cousin Ricky » Wed Aug 25, 2021 1:09 pm

I’m impressed that they used a realistic color for the Sun and showed Venus with its clouds.

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Re: APOD: Solar System Ball Drop (2021 Aug 25)

Post by E Fish » Wed Aug 25, 2021 1:24 pm

I love this video! I think I need to use it in my class when I talk about gravity. It's a vivid example of how it works on bodies of different masses.

Now, they need to make another one with balls dropping to other types of objects like onto a neutron star or something. :) I read a description once that a marshmallow would hit the surface of a neutron star with the force an H-bomb.

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Re: APOD: Solar System Ball Drop (2021 Aug 25)

Post by neufer » Wed Aug 25, 2021 1:25 pm

JohnD wrote:
Wed Aug 25, 2021 8:53 am
SpaceCadet wrote:
Wed Aug 25, 2021 4:30 am

Does the slower fall speed make it safer for a person to fall that distance?
You will note, if you watched the video, that even onto Ceres that has the lowest g used, the terminal velocity was 90kph, or 55mph. All others were in hundreds of kph. Since your falling astronaut will lack the security of a car shell, seats and seat belts, they must be considered to have the same risk as a pedestrian hit by a car at that speed. Hit at 90kph, the probability of death is 1. They will die. Even on Earth. The damage to their space suit is incidental - they will die from impact, and then from vacuum, cold and hypoxia.
  • The terminal velocity on Venus is just 15-20 mph ...
    so one is unlikely to die from impact, vacuum, cold or hypoxia.
Art Neuendorffer

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Re: APOD: Solar System Ball Drop (2021 Aug 25)

Post by Chris Peterson » Wed Aug 25, 2021 1:34 pm

neufer wrote:
Wed Aug 25, 2021 1:25 pm
JohnD wrote:
Wed Aug 25, 2021 8:53 am
SpaceCadet wrote:
Wed Aug 25, 2021 4:30 am

Does the slower fall speed make it safer for a person to fall that distance?
You will note, if you watched the video, that even onto Ceres that has the lowest g used, the terminal velocity was 90kph, or 55mph. All others were in hundreds of kph. Since your falling astronaut will lack the security of a car shell, seats and seat belts, they must be considered to have the same risk as a pedestrian hit by a car at that speed. Hit at 90kph, the probability of death is 1. They will die. Even on Earth. The damage to their space suit is incidental - they will die from impact, and then from vacuum, cold and hypoxia.
  • The terminal velocity on Venus is just 15-20 mph ...
    so one is unlikely to die from impact, vacuum, cold or hypoxia.
Just pressure, heat, and acidic dissolution?

The Universe provides so many opportunities for exciting exits!
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Re: APOD: Solar System Ball Drop (2021 Aug 25)

Post by JohnD » Wed Aug 25, 2021 2:33 pm

neufer wrote:
Wed Aug 25, 2021 1:25 pm
JohnD wrote:
Wed Aug 25, 2021 8:53 am
SpaceCadet wrote:
Wed Aug 25, 2021 4:30 am

Does the slower fall speed make it safer for a person to fall that distance?
You will note, if you watched the video, that even onto Ceres that has the lowest g used, the terminal velocity was 90kph, or 55mph. All others were in hundreds of kph. Since your falling astronaut will lack the security of a car shell, seats and seat belts, they must be considered to have the same risk as a pedestrian hit by a car at that speed. Hit at 90kph, the probability of death is 1. They will die. Even on Earth. The damage to their space suit is incidental - they will die from impact, and then from vacuum, cold and hypoxia.
  • The terminal velocity on Venus is just 15-20 mph ...
    so one is unlikely to die from impact, vacuum, cold or hypoxia.
Did you work it out, Neufer? Vt = SQR((4gd/3Cd)((ps - p)/p)) is a formidable equation! Not one I'm going to take on without a whip and a chair (To poke at it, not sit on!)
Various online estimates, without showing their working, of about 20mph, 10meters/second. Parachutists land at about 6m/s, so our intrepid, free falling astronaut might expect a broken ankle or two. If their kit was up to the conditions listed by Chris, and the impact (they would need to stay upright, not roll over, I fear) they yes, they might survive. But only from an atmosphere many times denser than the Earth's, not because of less 'g'.

John

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Re: APOD: Solar System Ball Drop (2021 Aug 25)

Post by Chris Peterson » Wed Aug 25, 2021 2:42 pm

JohnD wrote:
Wed Aug 25, 2021 2:33 pm
neufer wrote:
Wed Aug 25, 2021 1:25 pm
JohnD wrote:
Wed Aug 25, 2021 8:53 am

You will note, if you watched the video, that even onto Ceres that has the lowest g used, the terminal velocity was 90kph, or 55mph. All others were in hundreds of kph. Since your falling astronaut will lack the security of a car shell, seats and seat belts, they must be considered to have the same risk as a pedestrian hit by a car at that speed. Hit at 90kph, the probability of death is 1. They will die. Even on Earth. The damage to their space suit is incidental - they will die from impact, and then from vacuum, cold and hypoxia.
  • The terminal velocity on Venus is just 15-20 mph ...
    so one is unlikely to die from impact, vacuum, cold or hypoxia.
Did you work it out, Neufer? Vt = SQR((4gd/3Cd)((ps - p)/p)) is a formidable equation! Not one I'm going to take on without a whip and a chair (To poke at it, not sit on!)
Various online estimates, without showing their working, of about 20mph, 10meters/second. Parachutists land at about 6m/s, so our intrepid, free falling astronaut might expect a broken ankle or two. If their kit was up to the conditions listed by Chris, and the impact (they would need to stay upright, not roll over, I fear) they yes, they might survive. But only from an atmosphere many times denser than the Earth's, not because of less 'g'.

John
Today's APOD concerns just the effect of gravity, with atmospheric drag removed. Art's response was to your misuse of "terminal velocity", which does not apply in the context of today's post.
Chris

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Re: APOD: Solar System Ball Drop (2021 Aug 25)

Post by neufer » Wed Aug 25, 2021 2:47 pm

E Fish wrote:
Wed Aug 25, 2021 1:24 pm

Now, they need to make another one with balls dropping to other types of objects like onto a neutron star or something. :) I read a description once that a marshmallow would hit the surface of a neutron star with the force an H-bomb.
  • An A-bomb not an H-bomb.
1 regular marshmallow weighs 7 grams or an energy
of mc2 = 630 terajoule (TJ) = 200,000 tons of TNT

A marshmallow landing on a neutron star might release ~250 TJ
= 60,000 tons of TNT => a large fission ("atomic") bomb (s'more or less).

[A marshmallow dropping one kilometer might release 5,000 tons of TNT.]

The amount of energy released by fission bombs can range
from just under a ton to upwards of 500,000 tons of TNT

A thermonuclear [H-bomb] weapon weighing little more than 2,400 pounds
can release energy equal to more than 5,000 TJ (1.2 Megatons of TNT).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joule#Terajoule wrote:
<<The terajoule (TJ) is equal to one trillion (1012) joules; or about 0.278 GWh. About 63 TJ of energy was released by Little Boy. The International Space Station, with a mass of approximately 450 megagrams and orbital velocity of 7700 m/s, has a kinetic energy of roughly 13 TJ. In 2017, Hurricane Irma was estimated to have a peak wind energy of 112 TJ. 90 TJ is about the amount of energy equivalent to 1 gram of mass.>>
Art Neuendorffer

xuxu

Re: APOD: Solar System Ball Drop (2021 Aug 25)

Post by xuxu » Wed Aug 25, 2021 3:58 pm

Great post.. any chance you could post a simulation of how fast each planet goes around the sun and maybe the speed of each ones rotation?
Thanks

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Re: APOD: Solar System Ball Drop (2021 Aug 25)

Post by johnnydeep » Wed Aug 25, 2021 4:14 pm

neufer wrote:
Wed Aug 25, 2021 2:47 pm
E Fish wrote:
Wed Aug 25, 2021 1:24 pm

Now, they need to make another one with balls dropping to other types of objects like onto a neutron star or something. :) I read a description once that a marshmallow would hit the surface of a neutron star with the force an H-bomb.
  • An A-bomb not an H-bomb.
1 regular marshmallow weighs 7 grams or an energy
of mc2 = 630 terajoule (TJ) = 200,000 tons of TNT

A marshmallow landing on a neutron star might release ~250 TJ
= 60,000 tons of TNT => a large fission ("atomic") bomb (s'more or less).

[A marshmallow dropping one kilometer might release 5,000 tons of TNT.]
I don't follow. What's the difference between "a marshmallow landing on" and "a marshmallow dropping one km"? The energy released by "landing on" is determined by the velocity of impact. Is the energy released by dropping 1 km due to the difference in gravitational potential? ...Oh, are you saying that the marshmallow would release the combined energy of the impact plus the difference in gravitational potential?
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Re: APOD: Solar System Ball Drop (2021 Aug 25)

Post by Fred the Cat » Wed Aug 25, 2021 4:24 pm

Brings forward memories of the cliff divers on Miranda.

Those will be the days. :ssmile:
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Re: APOD: Solar System Ball Drop (2021 Aug 25)

Post by JohnD » Wed Aug 25, 2021 5:34 pm

"The energy released by "landing on" is determined by the velocity of impact."

Surely, 'times the mass of the object', Johnny? I'll bet that David Scott's hammer made a bigger hole in the moon dust than the feather! Same velocity, more energy.
John

PS Fred, your links seem out of date - they don't mention cliff diving or Miranda, unless its in the small print. This reckons that you would hit the bottom at 200 kps, as Miranda has twice the mass (?) of Ceres: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQjs366 ... nel=Astrum J
Last edited by JohnD on Wed Aug 25, 2021 5:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: APOD: Solar System Ball Drop (2021 Aug 25)

Post by ta152h0 » Wed Aug 25, 2021 5:35 pm

I think it was Alan Shepherd who dropped the feather and a hammer on the moon surface. Didn't he sneak a golf ball/club on the moon? pass the ice cold one
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Re: APOD: Solar System Ball Drop (2021 Aug 25)

Post by Chris Peterson » Wed Aug 25, 2021 5:42 pm

JohnD wrote:
Wed Aug 25, 2021 5:34 pm
"The energy released by "landing on" is determined by the velocity of impact."

Surely, 'times the mass of the object', Johnny? I'll bet that David Scott's hammer made a bigger hole in the moon dust than the feather! Same velocity, more energy.
John
The speed and the mass, of course. But the speed often is the most important factor, since its component is squared. But clearly if you have two bodies hit at the same speed, the energy difference is determined only by mass.
Last edited by Chris Peterson on Wed Aug 25, 2021 6:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: APOD: Solar System Ball Drop (2021 Aug 25)

Post by JohnD » Wed Aug 25, 2021 5:50 pm

ta152h20,
No, it was David Scott.

Aren't some web searchers weird? To check quickly, I entered "moon feather hammer", not into my usual (couldn't be &rs%d to get that out) and the first entry was "Love Honey Fetish Selection. See Our Latest Fetish Wear." !?!?!?

John

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Re: APOD: Solar System Ball Drop (2021 Aug 25)

Post by Chris Peterson » Wed Aug 25, 2021 6:05 pm

JohnD wrote:
Wed Aug 25, 2021 5:50 pm
ta152h20,
No, it was David Scott.

Aren't some web searchers weird? To check quickly, I entered "moon feather hammer", not into my usual (couldn't be &rs%d to get that out) and the first entry was "Love Honey Fetish Selection. See Our Latest Fetish Wear." !?!?!?

John
Hmm. When I put that search into Google I got the expected Apollo video at the top of the list. Google structures its search results based on what it thinks your interests are. So the question is... what else have you been searching for lately?
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Re: APOD: Solar System Ball Drop (2021 Aug 25)

Post by neufer » Wed Aug 25, 2021 6:10 pm

johnnydeep wrote:
Wed Aug 25, 2021 4:14 pm
neufer wrote:
Wed Aug 25, 2021 2:47 pm
E Fish wrote:
Wed Aug 25, 2021 1:24 pm

Now, they need to make another one with balls dropping to other types of objects like onto a neutron star or something. :) I read a description once that a marshmallow would hit the surface of a neutron star with the force an H-bomb.
  • An A-bomb not an H-bomb.
1 regular marshmallow weighs 7 grams or an energy
of mc2 = 630 terajoule (TJ) = 200,000 tons of TNT

A marshmallow landing on a neutron star might release ~250 TJ
= 60,000 tons of TNT => a large fission ("atomic") bomb (s'more or less).

[A marshmallow dropping one kilometer might release 5,000 tons of TNT.]
I don't follow. What's the difference between "a marshmallow landing on" and "a marshmallow dropping one km"? The energy released by "landing on" is determined by the velocity of impact. Is the energy released by dropping 1 km due to the difference in gravitational potential? ...Oh, are you saying that the marshmallow would release the combined energy of the impact plus the difference in gravitational potential?
"E Fish" read "a description once that a marshmallow would
hit the surface of a neutron star with the "force" [sic] an H-bomb
".

Presumably, that involved a marshmallow with escape velocity.

The current discussion only involves dropping things from a height of 1 km
(such that it will not approach escape velocity at impact).

In any event, the marshmallow will have a maximum energy release of no more
than a 200 kt "A" bomb (; nevertheless, one should avoid the extra calories if possible).
Art Neuendorffer

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Re: APOD: Solar System Ball Drop (2021 Aug 25)

Post by Lehmbja249 » Wed Aug 25, 2021 8:32 pm

If gravity is different then will it have less disasters

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Re: APOD: Solar System Ball Drop (2021 Aug 25)

Post by johnnydeep » Wed Aug 25, 2021 8:32 pm

neufer wrote:
Wed Aug 25, 2021 6:10 pm
johnnydeep wrote:
Wed Aug 25, 2021 4:14 pm
neufer wrote:
Wed Aug 25, 2021 2:47 pm
  • An A-bomb not an H-bomb.
1 regular marshmallow weighs 7 grams or an energy
of mc2 = 630 terajoule (TJ) = 200,000 tons of TNT

A marshmallow landing on a neutron star might release ~250 TJ
= 60,000 tons of TNT => a large fission ("atomic") bomb (s'more or less).

[A marshmallow dropping one kilometer might release 5,000 tons of TNT.]
I don't follow. What's the difference between "a marshmallow landing on" and "a marshmallow dropping one km"? The energy released by "landing on" is determined by the velocity of impact. Is the energy released by dropping 1 km due to the difference in gravitational potential? ...Oh, are you saying that the marshmallow would release the combined energy of the impact plus the difference in gravitational potential?
"E Fish" read "a description once that a marshmallow would
hit the surface of a neutron star with the "force" [sic] an H-bomb
".

Presumably, that involved a marshmallow with escape velocity.

The current discussion only involves dropping things from a height of 1 km
(such that it will not approach escape velocity at impact).

In any event, the marshmallow will have a maximum energy release of no more
than a 200 kt "A" bomb (; nevertheless, one should avoid the extra calories if possible).
Sorry, but this didn't help me. Now we have three numbers: 60 kilotons (impacting), 5 kilotons (dropping 1 km) and 200 kilotons (e=mc2), the first two resulting from a 7 gram marshmallow doing something in the vicinity of a neutron star.
Last edited by johnnydeep on Wed Aug 25, 2021 8:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: APOD: Solar System Ball Drop (2021 Aug 25)

Post by johnnydeep » Wed Aug 25, 2021 8:33 pm

JohnD wrote:
Wed Aug 25, 2021 5:34 pm
"The energy released by "landing on" is determined by the velocity of impact."

Surely, 'times the mass of the object', Johnny? I'll bet that David Scott's hammer made a bigger hole in the moon dust than the feather! Same velocity, more energy.
John
Surely. I didn't mention the mass because we were already talking about a 7 gm marshmallow. Or I was anyway.
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Re: APOD: Solar System Ball Drop (2021 Aug 25)

Post by Chris Peterson » Wed Aug 25, 2021 9:10 pm

johnnydeep wrote:
Wed Aug 25, 2021 8:32 pm
neufer wrote:
Wed Aug 25, 2021 6:10 pm
johnnydeep wrote:
Wed Aug 25, 2021 4:14 pm


I don't follow. What's the difference between "a marshmallow landing on" and "a marshmallow dropping one km"? The energy released by "landing on" is determined by the velocity of impact. Is the energy released by dropping 1 km due to the difference in gravitational potential? ...Oh, are you saying that the marshmallow would release the combined energy of the impact plus the difference in gravitational potential?
"E Fish" read "a description once that a marshmallow would
hit the surface of a neutron star with the "force" [sic] an H-bomb
".

Presumably, that involved a marshmallow with escape velocity.

The current discussion only involves dropping things from a height of 1 km
(such that it will not approach escape velocity at impact).

In any event, the marshmallow will have a maximum energy release of no more
than a 200 kt "A" bomb (; nevertheless, one should avoid the extra calories if possible).
Sorry, but this didn't help me. Now we have three numbers: 60 kilotons (impacting), 5 kilotons (dropping 1 km) and 200 kilotons (e=mc2), the first two resulting from a 7 gram marshmallow doing something in the vicinity of a neutron star.
If there is no impact, there is no energy release. Just a transfer of gravitational potential energy to kinetic energy, fully contained within the body.
Chris

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