The sun is in gravitational equilibrium, which means that the gravity exerted by the sun is equal to the force of other objects (like planets) pulling on it. What does this mean? This means that if you were to fall off a ladder or jump into the water from a high distance, for example, there would be an equal amount of gravity pulling you down as there would be upwards forced pushing you up – so your motion would come to a stop and hover at what’s called “horizontal velocity.” In general terms:
when something is in gravitational equilibrium, all forces acting on it are balanced – no net force exists;
any object with zero net force will not move because its momentum cannot change;
the sun is in gravitational equilibrium because it is being pulled by its gravity and other objects like planets are doing the same to it.
This article is an exploration of what gravitational equilibrium means and why it’s important.
So first, what do we mean when we say that the sun is in gravitational equilibrium?
When two celestial bodies are moving away from one another at a constant speed because they have reached their maximum distance while still being attracted to each other by gravity, this phenomenon can be called ‘gravitational equilibrium’ or also known as ‘Gravity Balance’. This state of balance happens between Sun and Earth which is very unique among all the planets in our solar system.
Now surprisingly earth isn’t just following a circular orbit around the sun as many people think; rather its elliptical orbit constantly changes distances with respect to Sun
This means that at some points in the orbit, Earth is closer to Sun while it’s farther away from Sun during other times.
The moon too follows an elliptical path but its distance with respect to earth remains constant throughout its orbit because of Moon’s much smaller mass compared to Earth.
Now what if you were observing planets from a different point of view? Well, then you might see more circular orbits and the sun is always in gravitational equilibrium with all these celestial bodies around it!
But, you are not! You see the sun in gravitational equilibrium with all these celestial bodies around it because what you observe is happening from Earth’s point of view.
So that means if we were observing planets from a different point of light then we might think differently about what does gravity really means? Probably not… but who knows…?
What Does Gravity Really Mean – An Explanation of Gravitational Equilibrium
This article discusses what people typically mean when they say the Sun is in gravitational equilibrium with other celestial bodies. It talks about how this expression should be considered relative to an observer’s perspective and explores some possible alternate viewpoints on this topic. The article concludes by posing questions related to our understanding of what gravity really means.
Another possibility: if two stars are close together, does that make them more or less likely to interact gravitationally than two stars that are farther apart?
What about observations from a spinning frame of reference – what is the difference in gravitational effects, for example, between centrifugal force and gravity?
This paper concludes with one final question. If relativity tells us light can’t escape from an object because it would have to be going faster than light speed (c), then how does this happen if there’s no such thing as “gravity” or acceleration within spacetime?
An observer outside the Sun will see all other celestial bodies fall towards it at the same rate regardless of their distance away. The sun “wins” on any close encounter by exerting its mass over whatever comes near it which induces them into elliptical orbits. The speed of the other bodies decreases as they get closer to the sun, but it does not accelerate.
The observer “inside” will notice no difference in gravitational effects between centrifugal force and gravity. They’re both going on at all times, with one or the other being dominant depending on what is happening relative to Earth’s frame of reference (or any non-rotating object). This latter point follows from Newtonian physics – that an accelerating body near a stationary body would feel equal forces of attraction towards them from their mutual mass centers.