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spaceSpace and Physics

Awesome Animation Shows Gravity On Different Planets By Smashing A Car

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Jack Dunhill

Social Media Coordinator and Staff Writer

clockMar 9 2022, 17:33 UTC
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car crash

Half educational, half incredibly satisfying. Image Credit: cla78/Shutterstock.com

An incredible animation posted by u/asianj1m to Reddit claims to show the effect of gravity on a falling object on different planets in our solar system, including a hilarious example of the Sun at the end (seriously, watch it to the end). Using a physics simulator video game called beamNG.drive to display how gravity would affect a falling object, the animation shows a large bundle of wood falling from the sky onto a car, which smashes to varying degrees depending on the planet. For those with low gravity, the car and pallet do a happy little bounce, but for the gas giants and the Sun? Well, you can add gravity to the library of reasons why you wouldn’t want to stand on those. 

Check out the animation below:

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If you didn’t quite get a good enough idea of each planet’s respective gravity, maybe some numbers can help out.

Earth has a gravity of 9.8 meters per second² (32.2 feet per second²), meaning that while you plummet towards the Earth, you are accelerating at 9.8 meters per second for every second that you are falling. The smallest celestial body shown in the animation is our dear long-lost friend Pluto, which has a rather leisurely gravity of 0.62 m/s² (2.0 ft/s²). Falling from Pluto would be a slow affair, with it taking almost 16 seconds to achieve the same velocity that you would on Earth in just 1 second.  

Fall on the Sun, however, and you’d quickly find yourself at a blistering pace. The gravity on the Sun is 274 m/s² (899.0 ft/s²), almost 30 times that of the Earth. As you can see above, the car is already pressed into the ground (or burning plasma, in this case) under just its own weight, but the wood absolutely smashes it to pieces. So, there you have it – don't stand on the Sun underneath falling wood. Now you know.


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