The Physics
An encyclopedia of scientific essays

Acceleration Due to Gravity on Mars

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Shipman, James T., Wilson, Jerry D., and Todd, Aaron W. An Introduction to Physical Science. 10th Edition "Notice that as predicted, the acceleration due to Gravity on Mars (3.8 m/s2) is quite different from the acceleration due to gravity near Earth's surface (9.8 m/s2)." 3.8 m/s2
Jones, James D. Gravity on Mars (Better). M. Casco Learning Center. 15 February 1999. "This makes the gravitational acceleration on Mars gm=9.8*0.107*(12775/6775)2 = 3.73 m/s/s 3.73 m/s2
Gwinn, Robert P., Norton, Peter B., and Goetz, Phillip W. Encyclopedia Britannica, Chicago, 1984: 553. "Mean surface gravity 372 cm/sec2 3.72 m/s2
Mars: Extreme Planet. National Aeronautics and Space Administration. "Gravity 0.375 that of Earth" 3.7 m/s2

Mars is about as old as the Earth. It was named after the ancient Roman God of war. The Romans copied the Greeks in naming the planet after a war god. And like the Greeks, the Romans associated the Planet with war because its color resembles the color of blood. Mars is the fourth planet in the Solar System. Its red, blazing appearance can be found very mystifying.

A man by the name of Johannes Kepler was able to figure out something that would prove to be very extraordinary. Johannes Kepler figured out its laws of planetary motion and helped to pave the way for the modern theory of gravitation in 1609. Kepler's ideas help to spark ideas in such scientist as Galileo Galilei. Galileo was first in showing that objects fall with a constant acceleration. Once air resistance is ignored, the acceleration due to gravity is constant which means the same. In 1666, Isaac Newton was able to put together the ideas of both Kepler and Galilei to form his own theory. Newton unified their two theories with his theory of the Law of Universal Gravitation. Newton used mathematics to show that the force on the planet is inversely proportional to its mass. Newton was so sure that his theories had proven to be correct, that he assumed that the laws that governed motion on Earth would work anywhere. Therefore he also assumed that the same force of attraction acted between any two masses m1 and m2, and using G as a universal constant that is the same everywhere.

Acceleration due to Gravity is represented by the symbol g. Since acceleration is a vector quantity, g, needs to have both a direction and a magnitude. In finding the acceleration due to gravity on Mars by using the equation that is used to find Earth's acceleration due to gravity.


g = acceleration due to gravity
G = universal gravitational constant
M = mass of mars
r = radius of mars

JahShiRah Rossi -- 2004