You’ve probably heard that you weigh less on the moon, but do you understand why this is? It all has to do with something you may have seen before: F=ma is one of the most common equations found in a Physics classroom. F stands for “force,” m for “mass,” and a for “acceleration.”
Every object and person has a certain Mass (m), and this mass does not change regardless of where you are in the universe (Would your body shape and size suddenly change if you traveled to the moon? Of course not!). Acceleration (a) in this equation represents “gravity,” while Force (F) represents your own “weight” (Yes, your weight is a force). The equation F=ma shows that there is a direct relationship between your weight (F), your body-mass (m) and gravity (a). Because we’re exploring why youmay weigh differently on a place like the moon, we can assume that your body-mass (m) remains constant and doesn’t change. What’s left to look at in the “F=ma” equation? Your weight (F) and gravity (a)!
With this, we can see that your weight (F) depends on the gravity (a) of an astronomical body such as the moon. If a celestial body’s gravity increases, so will your own weight! Since Jupiter is our solar system’s planet with the strongest gravity, you will weigh more on Jupiter than any other planet. Because the moon’s gravity is less than Earth’s gravity, you’ll weigh less on the moon than on Earth. Of course, you may have already known that gravity affects your weight, but now you have the tools to explain the math and physics behind it!