Hawai'i Space Grant College, Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, University of Hawai'i, 1996

How Much Do You Weigh? 
Purpose 

To understand that weight is a measure of gravitational attraction and that this force is not the same on each planet. 

Key Words

 

force 

gravity 

gravitational attraction 

weight 

mass 
 
 

Materials

 

"New" Weight Chart 

calculators 

bathroom scale

Background
Gravity is a universal, natural force that attracts objects to each other. Gravity is the pull toward the center of an object; let's say, of a planet or a moon. When you weigh yourself, you are measuring the amount of gravitational attraction exerted on you by Earth. The Moon has a weaker gravitational attraction than Earth. In fact, the Moon's gravity is only 1/6 of Earth's gravity. So, you would weigh less on the Moon. How much would you weigh on the Moon and on the other planets?

 Procedure

1.
Write your weight (or an estimate) here:

 
 
2.
For a different planet, multiply your weight by the number given in the "New" Weight Chart.

 
 

Example for the Moon - for a person weighing 60 pounds on Earth: 
60 x 1/6 = 10
A 60 pound person would weight 10 pounds on the Moon!

 

3.
Follow the example and fill in the blanks in the "New" Weight Chart. Show your work.

 

 
 
 

"New" Weight Chart
 
Planet Multiply your Earth weight by: Your "new" weight
Mercury 0.4  
Venus 0.9  
Earth 1  
Moon 0.17  
Mars 0.4  
Jupiter 2.5  
Saturn 1.1  
Uranus 0.8  
Neptune 1.2  
Pluto 0.01  
Sun 28  

Extension
Where do the multiplication factors come from?


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This activity has been copied, with permission, from the University of Hawaii's School of Ocean & Earth Science & Technology server to ours, to allow faster access from our Web site. We encourage you to explore the original site.

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