Weight on the Moon

by Fraser Cain on October 29, 2008

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Astronaut Eugene Cernan from Apollo 17, the last mission to the Moon (NASA)

Astronaut Eugene Cernan from Apollo 17, the last mission to the Moon (NASA)


Your weight on the Moon is 16.5% what you would experience on Earth. In other words, if you weighed 100 kg on Earth, you would weigh a mere 16.5 kg on the Moon. For you imperial folks, imagine you tipped the scales at 200 pounds. Your weight on the Moon would only be 33 pounds.

Why is your weight on the Moon so much less than your weight on the Earth? It’s because of the lower gravity on the Moon. Objects on the surface of the Moon experience only 16.5% of the gravity they would experience on Earth. And why does the Moon have such a lower gravity? Gravity comes from mass. The more stuff you have, the more you’ll pull with gravity.

The mass of the Moon is only 1.2% the mass of the Earth, so you might expect it to have only 1.2% of the gravity. But it’s only 27% of the size of the Earth, so when you’re standing on the surface of the Moon, you’re much closer to its center of gravity.

Because your weight on the Moon is about 1/6th your weight on Earth, but your muscles are still as strong, you could do some amazing things. You would be able to jump 6 times higher, or jump off the roof of a house and be unharmed. And here’s the coolest thing. Strap on a pair of wings inside an air-filled dome on the Moon, and you would be able to fly around with just your own muscle power.

Were you wondering what your weight might be like on Mars, or on Jupiter?

Here’s a cool calculator that lets you see what your weight would be on various worlds in the Solar System.

You can listen to a very interesting podcast about the formation of the Moon from Astronomy Cast, Episode 17: Where Did the Moon Come From?

About 

Fraser Cain is the publisher of Universe Today. He's also the co-host of Astronomy Cast with Dr. Pamela Gay.

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