Gravity of Earth

The gravity of Earth, denoted by g, is the net acceleration that is imparted to objects due to the combined effect of gravitation (from mass distribution within Earth) and the centrifugal force (from the Earth's rotation).[2][3] It is a vector quantity, whose direction coincides with a plumb bob and strength or magnitude is given by the norm .

Earth's gravity measured by NASA GRACE mission, showing deviations from the theoretical gravity of an idealized, smooth Earth, the so-called Earth ellipsoid. Red shows the areas where gravity is stronger than the smooth, standard value, and blue reveals areas where gravity is weaker. (Animated version.)[1]

In SI units this acceleration is expressed in metres per second squared (in symbols, m/s2 or m·s−2) or equivalently in newtons per kilogram (N/kg or N·kg−1). Near Earth's surface, the gravity acceleration is approximately 9.81 m/s2 (32.2 ft/s2), which means that, ignoring the effects of air resistance, the speed of an object falling freely will increase by about 9.81 metres (32.2 ft) per second every second. This quantity is sometimes referred to informally as little g (in contrast, the gravitational constant G is referred to as big G).

The precise strength of Earth's gravity varies depending on the location. The nominal "average" value at Earth's surface, known as standard gravity is, by definition, 9.80665 m/s2 (32.1740 ft/s2).[4] This quantity is denoted variously as gn, ge (though this sometimes means the normal equatorial value on Earth, 9.78033 m/s2 (32.0877 ft/s2)), g0, gee, or simply g (which is also used for the variable local value).

The weight of an object on Earth's surface is the downwards force on that object, given by Newton's second law of motion, or F = m a (force = mass × acceleration). Gravitational acceleration contributes to the total gravity acceleration, but other factors, such as the rotation of Earth, also contribute, and, therefore, affect the weight of the object. Gravity does not normally include the gravitational pull of the Moon and Sun, which are accounted for in terms of tidal effects.

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This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Gravity of Earth, and is written by contributors. Text is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 International License; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.