Eitan Reshef
Matthew Yablansky
January 14
th
, 2008
Astronomy 120
Measuring Mass in the Solar System
In order to measure the mass of all objects in the solar system, it is imperative to
subdivide each type of object into various categories. Basically, our solar system is
divided into planets, the sun, satellites, moons, asteroids, the Kuiper Belt, and the Oort
Cloud. In order to find the mass of the Earth we must examine Newton’s Law of
Universal Gravitation. This tells us that t
he force of attraction between two objects is
proportional to the product of their masses divided by the square of the distance between
their centers of mass. We can assume the radius of the Earth is approximately 6378.1
kilometers through given studies.
The equation that expresses Newton’s statement (
F
=
G
(
m
1
) (
m
2
) /
d
²) is the first of many steps in finding the mass, where
G
is the gravitational
constant. Newton also said that the acceleration of an object is directly proportional to the
net force acting on the object, is in the direction of the net force, and is inversely
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 Spring '08
 SallyOoey
 Solar System, Mass

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