A Corbeled Gallery work

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Falling, not orbiting

This post is a random musing, so do not read it if you are looking for something witty or clever. I will never post something that I learned from a book or heard from a professor, but came up with on my own. I may have verified it before posting. But copying something that I got out of a book would evade the purpose of posting these random musings.

On earth, the quickest route from point to point is a straight line. In all actuallity the earth is curved, and therefore you are not actually moving in a straight line. The same applies to an object in space. When the earth goes around the sun, it is not actually going in a circle, but rather going in a straight line, and the line is curved because of gravity. (Note to Zoe: If something is continuing in a straight line, and work is generated because of this motion, then every time work is generated, the force will become less signifigant, eventually, albeit a long time, stop). For this reason, when astronauts are in space, the spaceshuttle is not actually orbiting the planet. it is constantly falling. This is the actual reason for weightlessness. It is not because they are in space, as if the space shuttle stopped falling around the earth, there would suddenly be gravity in the cabin, albeit a lot less than on earth. I really like the word albeit.

This was a random musing.

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