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Dictionary of Astrological and Astronomical Terms

Compiled by Julene Packer-Louis, Evan Bortnick, and Jackie Goldstein

Copyright 2000-2020 OCA, Inc. All rights reserved. No portion of the dictionary may be reproduced in any form without written permission.


Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation

"Two bodies attract each other with a force that is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them." For most cases, for a two body problem (like the Earth and the Moon or the Sun and one of the planets) the law can be simplified to: Fg = G(m1 + m2)/r2, where Fg is the gravitational force exerted, G is the Gravitational Constant, m1 and m2 are the masses of the two bodies, and r is the distance between the two bodies. Essentially, the force of gravity dissipates with the square of the distance. So, if you double the distance between two objects, the force of gravity is only one fourth as strong. If you quadruple it, it will only be one sixteenth as strong.

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