Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsAstronomy & Space · 1 decade ago

# What would happen if you were on the moon and you dropped a...?

and you dropped a pen??? What would happen to the pen?

Relevance

It would fall to the ground (on the Moon), but a little more slowly than it would on Earth.

The root of this question lies in the misunderstanding between planets and satellites. There aren't any different rules applied on satellites, man! The earth is a satellite of the Sun, in the sense that it's going in a circular path around the sun, perpetually pulled by gravity. The pen doesn't fly off on earth now, does it? Hence there's no reason for the pen to do anything wierd on the moon. It'll just fall to the ground, the only thing differing will be the acceleration due to gravity. This'll make it fall slower.

In fact, if you suspended a very light object a few cm from a man-made satellite or a space shuttle in orbit, the if that object's really light compared to your satellite, again the object would 'fall' towards the satellite. No exceptions here either.

The only thing mattering here is that the mass of your pen must be sufficiently small compared to what it's falling on. If you made a really BIG pen, you might as well make the moon fall on it instead!

It would fall to the surface. The moon does have gravity, though the gravity is lower than that of earth (about 16% of earth's).

Interestingly, the lack of air on the moon allowed Apollo astronauts to conduct an experiment that once and for all proved that gravity affects small objects equally.

If you dropped a bowling ball and a feather, which would hit the ground first? The bowling ball, right? It's the air on the earth that causes the feather to "float" on its way to the ground. On the moon where there is no air to slow the feather, it hits the ground at the same time as the bowling ball!

Incidentally, if you wanted to throw the pen, it would fly quite a bit further than if you threw it on earth. Not only is there no air to slow it, but the gravity is less. You could probably throw it for miles!

• eric l
Lv 6

For starters, because it is a vacuum the pen ink would boil away immediately.

Because the mass of the moon is 1/6 the mass of earth, so is the gravity.

The pen would fall to the ground at one sixth the acceleration that would happen on the earth.

Finally, because there is no air, there is no terminal velocity and it will accelerate until it hits the ground no matter what.

• cfpops
Lv 5

The pen would fall at about 1/6th of the earth's gravity. On the surface of the moon in most places, there is a lot of dust (4-6 inches). Therefore, when the pen hit the surface, it would raise a fountain of dust, but probably not bounce up; dust will absorb most of the kinetic energy of the falling pen.

Hope this helps!

• thomas
Lv 7

It would fall. There's still gravity just not as much as on earth. The difference wouldn't really even be neglegable unless you were timing it from a high distance drop. It would reach its termanal velocity at a different rate due to the lower gravity and lack of atmosphere. IT WOULD NOT FLOAT.

• Anonymous

It would dissolve into a jelly-like substance known as "reshalaph" and gain a consciousness. From there, only chance can decide what happens to the little fella.

Source(s): An Exhaustive History of the Common Atomic Viral Thought - By Mark Twain

the pen may float in air