On earth, two parts of a space probe weigh 12500 N and 8400 N. These parts are separated by a center-to-center distance of 23 m and are spherical. How do you find the magnitude of the gravitational force that each part exerts on the other out in space?
And that's the same force they exert on each other on earth when set 23 meters apart.
Let's assume that
The gravitational force between two objects can be calculates as a function of the product of their masses (
The mass of the objects can be found by dividing their weight by the gravitational acceleration at the surface of the earth. I'm using
The distance was given:
We can look up a value for G:
And plug that all into the first equation:
That seems very small, but in space, that could eventually draw these two objects together.