Imagine throwing a baseball. Easy, right? Maybe you’ve already done it a few times. Now imagine throwing a baseball on the Moon.
Maybe you’ve seen enough videos of astronauts bouncing around up there to have an idea. Here’s a clearer picture, though: On the Moon you could throw that ball clean over the 186-foot-tall Leaning Tower of Pisa.
OK, now picture you’re on Saturn. That’s a bit harder to imagine, isn’t it? Nobody has been there, much less taken video.
Thankfully, astronomer James O’Donoghue did all the math and made his own video, showing a ball throw on each planet, plus Pluto and the Moon. Take a look below:
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“We’re only currently able to experience outer space through images and video, so this style of video is designed to add more to the experience, namely the sensation of the forces on these other worlds,” O’Donoghue, who works at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, told Insider via email.
“We’re throwing this ball at about the maximum speed that an average person can throw… without practice, according to various sources on the internet (mainly baseball sources),” he said.
From there, gravity determines how far the ball goes. A planet’s gravity comes from its mass – more massive objects have stronger gravity – but density also plays a critical role.
“For example, Saturn has 95 times more mass than Earth, but it is the least dense planet in the Solar System,” O’Donoghue said. “So when you’re on the edges of [Saturn], the force of gravity pulling you in [is] actually weaker than on Earth.”
That’s why throwing a ball on Saturn is nothing special. The truly remarkable throw happens on Pluto, the small ice ball of a former planet.
At just two-thirds the diameter of our Moon, Pluto has such weak gravity that your baseball could clear the 455-foot-tall Great Pyramid of Giza – with room to spare.
In the end, the ball on Pluto would travel 16 times farther than on Earth.
The video plays out in ‘real time,’ showing how long each ball throw would take, O’Donoghue said. On Pluto, it takes a yawn-inducing 47 seconds.
“It makes me wonder how boring it would be to trip over after running on that world as an astronaut,” he said.
This article was originally published by Business Insider.
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Source: Science Alert