# If the Sun's gravity...

Wildfire
Posers and Puzzles 03 Oct '05 06:04
1. Wildfire
Force of Nature
03 Oct '05 06:041 edit
If the Sun's gravity were suddenly "turned off," would the Earth be immediately affected? Or would it take eight minutes (the time it takes for the sun's light to reach Earth)?
2. 03 Oct '05 10:37
The affect would not be instant it would take time, I can't remember exactly but yes I think it would take the same amount of time as it would for the light to reach Earth
3. 03 Oct '05 11:00
How do you "turn off" gravity?
4. Wildfire
Force of Nature
03 Oct '05 11:06
Originally posted by ilywrin
How do you "turn off" gravity?
Hypothetically speaking, of course. Otherwise, the situation simply wouldn't be feasible.
5. zakkwylder
Mouth for war
03 Oct '05 11:151 edit
Should the suns gravity be turned off(though unlikely), I would hypothesize that the effect would be instantaneous. It takes light 8 minutes to to reach earth from the sun, however, gravity is a constant force that has no delay I.E. you walk off of the roof of a building, you fall instantly. you do not hover for 8 minutes before you descend. As soon as man leaves the atmosphere in a spaceship, he feels the gravity change immediately. Thus one could safely believe that as soon as gravity has ceased to act upon the earth, the effect would be intantaneous. Just like it ceased to act upon the man leaving earth's atmosphere.
6. XanthosNZ
Cancerous Bus Crash
03 Oct '05 11:25
Originally posted by zakkwylder
Should the suns gravity be turned off(though unlikely), I would hypothesize that the effect would be instantaneous. It takes light 8 secs to to reach earth from the sun, however, gravity is a constant force that has no delay I.E. you walk off of the roof of a building, you fall instantly. you do not hover for 8 seconds before you descend. As soon as man l ...[text shortened]... fect would be intantaneous. Just like it ceased to act upon the man leaving earth's atmosphere.
The sun is 8 light minutes from earth.

When you fall off a roof you are not affected by the Sun's Gravity but by the Earth's.

However from my vague understanding of space-time and gravity I believe the effect would be instantaneous despite the complete crap you just posted.
7. 03 Oct '05 11:36
sun is shining right now. thats all that matters...
8. zakkwylder
Mouth for war
03 Oct '05 11:56
Originally posted by XanthosNZ
The sun is 8 light [b]minutes from earth.

When you fall off a roof you are not affected by the Sun's Gravity but by the Earth's.

However from my vague understanding of space-time and gravity I believe the effect would be instantaneous despite the complete crap you just posted.[/b]
I was being sarcastic at that point brilliance. and i apologize for the mix-up(secs/mins). The principle remains the same though, gravity acts instantly and the lack of gravity is felt instantly, it has nothing to do with how long it takes light to get the earth as was proposed in the first post. thats the point I was making, so take your attitude elsewhere.
9. 03 Oct '05 12:23
As I am to understand it gravity is not simply a constant force, it is a result of the interaction involving gravitons, massless particles which travel at the speed of light. I therefore conclude that the effect would not be instant but resricted to the speed of light. however, I am not certain of this
10. XanthosNZ
Cancerous Bus Crash
03 Oct '05 13:41
Yes I'm changing my earlier opinion after looking through my physics notes.

The effect of gravity travels at the speed of light. Therefore we would have 8 minutes grace. Not that we'd know we'd had them until afterwards.
11. 03 Oct '05 13:56
Originally posted by XanthosNZ
Yes I'm changing my earlier opinion after looking through my physics notes.

The effect of gravity travels at the speed of light. Therefore we would have 8 minutes grace. Not that we'd know we'd had them until afterwards.
I missed my chance to correct you? What a bummer! How long till I get my next one, I wonder.
12. 03 Oct '05 14:11
If the effect was instantaneous then the information that the sun's gravity had been switched off would have been transmitted to us faster than light. In theory then, someone could send messages to someone on another planet via gravity by (e.g.) moving the earths orbit slightly, these messages would travel faster than light.

I don't think messages faster than light are allowed so the change in the sun's gravity would not be felt instantaneously.
13. ark13
Enola Straight
03 Oct '05 14:13
Yes, gravity is unlike other forces in that it takes no time to travel as far as we know. So common, yet so mysterious...
14. XanthosNZ
Cancerous Bus Crash
03 Oct '05 14:20
Originally posted by ark13
Yes, gravity is unlike other forces in that it takes no time to travel as far as we know. So common, yet so mysterious...
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15. ark13
Enola Straight
03 Oct '05 14:26
Originally posted by XanthosNZ
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I'm pretty sure...