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Articles on Gravity

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The Earth is round. Alistair Berg/DigitalVision via Getty Images

Why are planets round?

Gravity, mass and centrifugal force all contribute to the final shape of a planet.
Gravity feels like it’s pulling everything toward Earth, but why? AdventurePhoto/E+ via WikimediaCommons

Why does gravity pull us down and not up?

Gravity is something every person on Earth intuitively understands: It is what keeps you on the ground. But how come gravity pulls down, rather than pushes up? Einstein came up with the answer.
The sky can be so many different things: it can be big, beautiful and blue, or grey, cloudy and rainy. It can also be full of stars, or full of orange and red clouds at sunset or sunrise. (Shutterstock)

Curious Kids: What is the sky?

A young reader asks: What is the sky?
Toilets in space are a bit more complicated than those on Earth. Don DeBold via Wikipedia

How do astronauts go to the bathroom in space?

Going to the bathroom is much more complicated in space without any gravity. To solve this problem of tricky orbital potty breaks, NASA builds special toilets that work without gravity.
A person falling into a black hole and being stretched while approaching the black hole’s horizon. Leo Rodriguez and Shanshan Rodriguez

Could a human enter a black hole to study it?

If you are a sci-fi junkie you’ve probably wondered what would happen if you were unlucky enough to fall into a black hole. How well you’d fare all depends on the type of black hole.
A black hole is an object so compact that nothing can escape its gravitational pull, not even light. They are formed when stars die and start collapsing under their own weight. Deep inside the black hole resides an infinitely hot and dense object, a so-called, singularity. Science Photo Library - MARK GARLICK/Getty Images

2020 Nobel Prize in physics awarded for work on black holes – an astrophysicist explains the trailblazing discoveries

The 2020 Nobel Prize in physics was awarded to three scientists – an Englishman, an American and a German – for breakthroughs in understanding the most mysterious objects in the universe: black holes.
Flickr/Kelly Teague

Curious Kids: why is there gravity?

There is a reason why it’s easier to roll marbles down rather than up a hill. And the answer (to this and to gravity itself) is all about acceleration.
Artist’s rendition of NASA’s 2020 Mars rover collecting rocks with its robotic arm. NASA

Meteorites from Mars contain clues about the red planet’s geology

Martian meteorites allow scientists here on Earth to decode that planet’s geology, more than a decade before the first missions are scheduled to bring rocks back home from Mars.
Mating laser-driven atomic clocks like the one shown here with microwaves promises more accurate electronic devices. N. Phillips/NIST

Pairing lasers with microwaves makes mind-bogglingly accurate electronic clocks – a potential boon for GPS, cell phones and radar

Researchers have made some of the most accurate clocks imaginable in recent years, but the trick is harnessing those clocks to electronics. Using lasers to tune microwaves bridges the gap.

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