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ACTIVITY

Your Weight on Mars


Try This!

  • Type your weight in the box under the photo of the Earth in any unit you like. Then click the "Calculate" button to find what you'd weigh on Mars.
  • Type in some other Earth weights—that of your dog or cat, perhaps, or the weight of your car—to find their martian weights.

EARTH

Enter your weight
MARS

Your weight is

What's Going On?
When you stand on your bathroom scale, you're measuring the force of attraction between you and Earth, the force we call gravity. The resulting measurement is your weight.

The strength of the gravitational attraction between objects depends on two things:
• the mass (amount of matter) of each object
• the distance between the centers of the objects

Mars is a lot smaller than Earth, and its mass is only about a tenth of Earth's mass. That tends to make your weight on Mars decrease relative to your Earth weight. Now consider the distance factor: The force of gravity is stronger over a short distance than over a long distance. And the distance from you, standing on the surface of Mars, to the center of the planet is much shorter than the distance from you, standing on Earth's surface, to the center of Earth. That tends to make your weight on Mars increase.

Taking both mass and distance into account, it works out that the gravitational attraction between you and Mars is about three-eighths as strong as it is between you and Earth. Look back at the answer you got for your weight on Mars—you'll find that it's approximately three-eighths of your earthbound weight.

Want to know what you'd weigh on Jupiter, the moon, or some other celestial body? Visit Your Weight on Other Worlds.