A lot of us have always taken gravity for granted, and we’ve never really thought about it much. It’s just something that exists and keeps us grounded, literally. Gravity is a complicated force, and complicated things like that tend to raise many questions. We’ve probably asked ourselves whether we would survive without gravity or whether it can even disappear or not. Thankfully, scientists have an answer for us.
People spending time in space experience some loss of bone mass and muscle strength as well as a change in their sense of balance. Our bodies adapt to where we are and change accordingly. So in a state of weightlessness, the muscles working against gravity would start to lose strength.
Other parts of our bodies, such as our cardiovascular system, would experience changes too. According to a professor, Jay Buckey, the simple act of standing up requires our bodies to work against gravity. So if there was no gravity to work against, we’d pass out every time we tried standing up. That happens because our cardiovascular system wouldn’t be able to get our blood flowing to our heads.
Jay Buckeywork against gravity
According to Professor Kevin Fong, if our bones were exposed to less gravity, like on Mars, they’d develop some kind of osteoporosis. As the calcium stored in the bones would waste away, it would go into the bloodstream, which would cause problems, such as constipation, renal stones, and even psychotic depression. But the problems don’t stop there — blood cell counts would fall, resulting in space anemia. Our immunity would suffer and wounds would take longer to heal. This proves that even a slight change of gravity could have very serious and bad effects on the human body.
Kevin Fongless gravityosteoporosis
Gravity is what holds us down, and without it, we would start floating, and it wouldn’t be as fun as it looks in the movies. If we’re not inside a building, where we’d just hit the ceiling and stay there, we’d gently start floating in a straight line into space, but the speed would eventually increase significantly the further from Earth’s orbit we’d go.
The Earth is rotating very fast at roughly 1,000 miles per hour, so if gravity was to suddenly disappear, everything not attached to our planet would fly off into space, according to Professor Karen Masters. Because they’re rooted in the Earth, trees and most buildings would stay where they are. However, that wouldn’t be for long because the Earth would eventually break apart into chunks and fly off into space.
Without gravity, our moon would float off into space. Without the moon, the Earth will wobble a lot more, which would have a huge impact on seasons and climate, and tides would be a lot weaker, all of which could cause extreme temperatures on our planet. Without the moon holding our planet in place, there could be some serious problems for our planet. We could lose seasons completely, or even enter an ice age after a few hundred thousand years, according to NASA research scientist Matt Siegler.
We’d like to reassure you that gravity can’t just switch off. According to Professor Karen Masters, the Earth has gravity because it has mass. And without mass, Earth wouldn’t even exist.
Thankfully, these things won’t happen, as gravity is going nowhere, but it’s always interesting to ask ourselves questions like these. What other scientific questions would you like to know the answers to?