How does gravity affect galaxies, stars, and planets?

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Apr 23, 2016

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Gravity is what makes pieces of matter clump together into galaxies, stars and planets.

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Gravity is a force of attraction that exists between all objects, everywhere in the universe. The more the mass, the more is the gravity, so massive objects such as stars and galaxies pull more strongly.

In addition to depending on the amount of mass, gravity also depends on the distance between two objects. The effect of gravity extends from each object out into space in all directions, and for an infinite distance. However, the strength of the gravitational force reduces quickly with distance.

Gravity is what makes the planets orbit the stars, like the Earth orbits our star, the Sun. Gravity is what makes the stars orbit the center of the Milky Way galaxy.

Gravity is responsible for many of the structures in the Universe.
This happens wherever hydrogen fuses under pressure to form stars and in turn, the stars grouping into galaxies. Further, the stars themselves may have an extended cloud of gas and dust orbiting them, out of which the planets can condense.

In a nutshell, gravity is the dominant force at the macroscopic scale, and is the cause of the formation, shape and orbit of astronomical bodies - be it planets, stars or galaxies.

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