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If you are dropping an object on the moon would it fall on to the moon's surface or fall towards earth?

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closed as not a real question by Qmechanic, Shog9 Nov 26 '12 at 3:04

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I would like to think that all the rocks and boulders and dust and stuff just laying around on the surface of the Moon, and indeed, the fact that the Moon is intact, would be sufficient reason to suspect that the answer is that, in the vicinity of the Moon, the object falls onto the Moon's surface. –  Alfred Centauri Oct 26 '12 at 1:09
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3 Answers 3

OK, here's Neil Armstrong jumping onto the moon.

Did he fall up, or down to the surface?

And here's a video of Commander David Scott of Apollo 15 dropping a hammer and a feather on the moon.

And here's some more. There are lots of videos of things being thrown and dropped on the moon.

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When you are on the moon you are orbiting the earth.the earth exerts a gravitational force upon you, but you dont feel it because you are orbiting the earth.(essentially its like you are free-falling to towards the earth, but you have sufficient speed so that you go around)So you will only see the effects of the moon's gravity.

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And even if that weren't true (if the Moon were somehow stationary at the same distance from the Earth), the Moon's gravity would still be orders of magnitude stronger than the Earth's gravity. –  Keith Thompson Oct 26 '12 at 1:10
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Technically- you are pulled toward both bodies. Every body exerts a force called gravity upon every other body. Unfortunately, Gravity is relatively weak and has an incredible fall-off. Meaning, the further away you are, the force exponentially decreases in strength.

Therefore, even though the moon doesn't exert as much total force as the Earth does, because the subject (your dropped object) is closer to the moon than the earth, the moon wins the tug of war.

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No. The drop-off is not exponential, but inverse-squared (i.e. as per Newton's law of universal gravitation). Exponential decay has a well-defined meaning which is wrong in this context. –  Emilio Pisanty Oct 25 '12 at 22:13
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