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Articles on Gravity

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Ski jumpers use aerodynamics and physics to overcome gravity – at least for a while. AP Photo/Matthias Schrader

Ski jump: Flying or falling with style?

Ski jumpers do everything they can to counteract the effects of gravity and fly as far as they can down hills.
Some stars travel at high speeds through the universe and sometimes leave spectacular clouds of dust and gas in their wake. NASA, ESA and R. Sahai (NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

Real shooting stars exist, but they aren’t the streaks you see in a clear night sky

Hypervelocity stars were discovered only 15 years ago and are the closest things in existence to real shooting stars. They travel at millions of miles per hour, so fast that they can escape from galaxies.
Experiments at the Large Hadron Collider in Europe, like the ATLAS calorimeter seen here, are providing more accurate measurements of fundamental particles. Maximilien Brice

2021: a year physicists asked, ‘What lies beyond the Standard Model?’

Physicists know a lot about the most fundamental properties of the universe, but they certainly don’t know everything. 2021 was a big year for physics – what was learned and what’s coming next?
An artist’s impression of the Double Pulsar system in which the two pulsars orbit each other every 2.5 hours and send out high-energy beams that sweep across the sky. Image credit: John Rowe Animations/CSIRO

We counted 20 billion ticks of an extreme galactic clock to give Einstein’s theory of gravity its toughest test yet

Astronomers watched a pair of pulsars for 16 years to test the theory of general relativity, which has stood unchallenged for over a century.
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.

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