Gravity is part of our lives here on Earth, we take it for granted, in fact, we didn’t even know it existed until an apple fell from a tree in front of Isaac Newton, making him realize that ‘it was there.
Gravity is much more than fruit falling from trees, it brings all objects together in direct proportion to their mass, among many other things that you probably do not know. Here are 6 weird facts about gravity.
1. Gravity is all in your head.
Gravity is fairly consistent on Earth, but our perception of gravity is certainly not. In April 2011, research suggested that people can better judge falling objects when sitting upright than when lying on their side.
This, in turn, suggests that our perception of gravity is less based on our visual cues and more rooted in the orientation of our body. This could lead to new ways to help astronauts cope with microgravity in space.
2. Returning to earth is hard.
Astronauts are aware that the transition from weightlessness from space to the gravity here on Earth is difficult for our bodies. When gravity is absent or reduced, our muscles atrophy and our bones lose bone mass.
NASA estimates that astronauts lose about 1% of bone mass per month in space. When returning to Earth’s gravity, the body needs time to adjust the heart must work harder to provide the brain with a constant supply of blood.
Mentally, it is also a challenge; many astronauts break objects for weeks after returning to Earth, assuming they will be weightless, they just “drop” them after use!
3. Moving to Pluto is better that diet!
Pluto is no longer a planet, but it is still the best diet in our galaxy! A 68 kg person would weigh only 4.5 kg on Pluto. At the other end of the scale, the overwhelming gravity of Jupiter would make this person from 68 kg to 160 kg!
Mars, the planet that humans are most likely to visit, has only 38% of Earth’s gravitational pull, so the 68 kg person would weigh 26 kg!
4. Gravity is lumpy.
Even on our planet, gravity is uneven. The Earth is not a perfect sphere and its mass is distributed unevenly; uneven mass = uneven gravity. An example of this is in the Hudson Bay of Canada, the severity is lower than in other regions.
A 2007 study found that the melting of glaciers is to blame for this, the mass of melted glaciers has decreased over time, affecting gravity there.
5. Bacteria resist more without gravity.
In space, bacteria are much meaner without the effects of gravity. Salmonella, for example, the bacteria linked to food poisoning is about 3 times more powerful in microgravity environments.
Lack of gravity is thought to alter the activity of bacteria’s genes and proteins. Mice fed with this mild salmonella got sick faster with a much lower dose of bacteria. In short, bugs on Earth are potentially much stronger in space!
6. Black holes at galaxy centers.
Black holes are named because nothing, not even light can escape them, they are the most destructive force in our universe. At the very center of our galaxy is a huge black hole, called Sagittarius A, which has the same mass as 3 million suns.
Scary or not, it is not really a threat to us here on Earth, it is very calm and very far from us. Sometimes Sagittarius A puts on a show for the universe, about 300 years ago, it sent out a surge of energy.
The stars and the gas rarely get close enough to Sagittarius A to be in danger, if they did, they would surely be engulfed instantly!