Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Dropping a Hammer and Feather on the Moon (video post)

Have you ever seen a feather and a hammer dropped from the same height at the same time and land together? It is rather hard to accomplish this feat on Earth, as the air usually causes the two to land at different times. But the same isn"t true on the Moon. In the image pictured here, artist Alan Bean depicts Davin Scott preforming the hammer and feather experiment on the Moon during the Apollo 15 mission. And seeing this happen in a 40-second video clip is probably one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a long time.

Even though the feather and the hammer have different weights, in this video, you will see them hit the ground at the same time. Why does this happen? It is all because of a property of gravity discovered by Galileo Galilei. As you may have heard, he discovered the principle of gravitational acceleration (or acceleration due to gravity) by taking various objects to the top of the Tower of Pisa and dropping them. Later, Galileo devised a method to measure this acceleration by rolling balls down an incline.

To see the video of gravity in action, go to:

Image source: Alan Bean

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