Contrary to what fairy tales tell us, there is nothing holding the moon up in the sky. So why doesn't it fall down? Find out on this Moment of Science.
It’s such a common sight, you probably don’t think twice. You swat at the fly buzzing around your head, and it seeks refuge on the ceiling. You stomp at an ant crawling along the baseboard, and it escapes by climbing the wall. Insects seem to respect the law of gravity about as much as someone with diplomatic immunity respects a local jaywalking ordinance. How do they get away with it? Learn more on this Moment of Science.
You can see this more easily by imagining what would happen if the earth were flat. The moon would still travel in a horizontal line above the ground; but because it’s also falling, it would come closer and closer to the flat earth until it collided.
The law of gravity describes and quantifies the attraction between two objects. But the law of gravity doesn’t explain what gravity is or why it might work in this way. That’s because that kind of explanation falls into the realm of theory.