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March 28, 2017

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The Sun and Earth each exert a gravitational force on the Moon. What is the ratio FSun/FEarth of these two forces? (The average Sun-Moon distance is equal to the Sun-Earth distance.)

  • physics - ,

    The ratio of the forces is
    Fsun/Fearth
    = (Msun/Mearth)*Dearth/Dsun)^2
    Dearth is the average earth-moon distance and Dsun is the average moon-sun (or Earth-sun) distance.

    The relative influence upon tides is different from this number. It depends upon the gradient, not the force itself.

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