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Physics/earth's gravitation

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Question
Hi,

If moon revolves earth due to earth's gravitational pull, why does not moon is fully attracted and merge with the earth. Can you please explain.

Answer
Yes, the Earth's gravitational pull on the Moon keeps the Moon revolving in a circle. Otherwise it would just fly off in space.  If you swing a small object around on a string, the tension in the string can only pull along its length...it does not mean the object will merge with you.  It will go in a circle.  Cut the string and release the force, and it will fly in a straight line.  Keep the force, and it will go in a circle (as the Moon does).

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Dr. Stephen O. Nelson

Expertise

I can answer most basic physics questions, physics questions about science fiction and everyday observations of physics, etc. I'm also usually good for science fair advice (I'm the regional science fair director). I do not answer homework problems. I will occasionally point out where a homework solution went wrong, though. I'm usually good at explaining odd observations that seem counterintuitive, energy science, nuclear physics, nuclear astrophysics, and alternative theories of physics are my specialties.

Experience

I was a physics professor at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, research in nuclear technology and nuclear astrophysics. My travelling science show saw over 20,000 students of all ages. I taught physics, nuclear chemistry, radiation safety, vacuum technology, and answer tons of questions as I tour schools encouraging students to consider careers in science. I moved on to a non-academic job with more research just recently.

Education/Credentials
Ph. D. from Duke University in physics, research in nuclear astrophysics reactions, gamma-ray astronomy technology, and advanced nuclear reactors.

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