Kovi Rose
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Gravity Is What Kinda Gets Me

People who work in the magical realm of video game development are some of the most imaginative folks on the planet. In the fictional streets of San Andreas or the plains of Sarasaland and Mushroom Kingdom, our laws of science and reality don’t always apply.

So naturally it is understandable for someone who works in said industry to get confused and hurt themselves in confusion.

I have no real love for the games of politics, but one thing that I hope we can all agree upon is the imperative demand for our politicians to have a firm grasp of reality.

The moon is probably the most tactically valuable military ground for earth. Rocks dropped from there have power of 100s of nuclear bombs

This statement was tweeted by Democratic candidate for Congress and game developer Brianna Wu.

Now rather than handing out insults or fighting stupid with stupid, as is often done in the mainstream media, I’d like to put this issue to rest in a purely scientific manner.

One cannot “drop” anything from the moon anymore than they could “drop” something from Earth. Both objects are massive enough to have their own pull of gravity. It is fair to say that the said force of gravity on the moon is certainly lower, but it’s important to state a few nerdy science facts before making any further analysis.

  1.  Any object in free fall near the surface of Earth will accelerate towards it at 9.8 meters per second squared.
  2. Similarly, any object in free fall near the surface of the moon will accelerate towards it at 1.62 meters per second squared.

So right away we can see that just “dropping” a rock from the moon, would result in the rock falling onto the Moon — albeit more slowly — and not to Earth.

3.  For an object to escape from Earth it would need to be going at                least 11.2 km/s.
4. To do the same from the moon you’d, need to get past 2 km/s.

In other words the only way to get a projectile off the moon is to launch it — like from Earth, except without dealing with the atmosphere, etc.

This whole story reminds me of problems that stem from having a government and political sphere comprised almost exclusively of lawyers and businessmen. When the time comes to make an informed decision or statement on science, wouldn’t it be better to have more people in politics from science backgrounds?

So now that I’ve bored you all with some high school physics, can we all agree that one cannot simply “drop” a rock from the moon onto Earth? (regardless of how fun it might seem in a video game)

About the Author
Born and raised in Australia, Kovi completed his BSc in Physics at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He has returned to Australia to undertake an honours and PhD in Astrophysics while continuing his work in outreach and science communication. A strong believer in science, education, mindfulness and snacks, most of Kovi's days are spent coding, teaching, stargazing, or making memes about doing one of the three.
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