exupero's blog

Jumping higher when the sun is overhead on different planets

In an earlier post I worked out how much the sun reduces gravitational acceleration when it's directly overhead. Here's a table of the effect on all the planets in the solar system (plus the Moon and Pluto), using the average radius of the planet, its closest distance to the sun, and a 1-foot jump height:

BodyIncrease in 1-foot jump height (mm)

This is pretty much as expected. Mercury, with its low mass and close proximity to the sun, allows the most increase, more than 5mm. The effect on the Moon is an order of magnitude stronger than on Earth, mostly due to the Moon's lower gravity, though at its closest it is also nearer the sun than the Earth. Mars, much farther from the sun than Earth, has such weak gravity that the effect is slightly stronger than on Earth.

I included Pluto because of its tiny mass, less than a fifth of the Moon's. Despite its great distance from the sun, it offers ten times the increase in height as Neptune, though it is a measly 3 microns. Note that I'm using perihelions: at its closest Pluto is 14 million miles closer to the sun than Neptune at its closest, which also gives the effect on Pluto a boost.