Question
Astrology, that unlikely and vague pseudoscience, makes much of the position of the planets at the moment of one's birth. The only known force a planet exerts on Earth is gravitational. (a) Calculate the magnitude of the gravitational force exerted on a 4.20 kg baby by a 100 kg father 0.200 m away at birth (he is assisting, so he is close to the child). (b) Calculate the magnitude of the force on the baby due to Jupiter if it is at its closest distance to Earth, some $6.29 \times 10^{11} \textrm{ m}$ away. How does the force of Jupiter on the baby compare to the force of the father on the baby? Other objects in the room and the hospital building also exert similar gravitational forces. (Of course, there could be an unknown force acting, but scientists first need to be convinced that there is even an effect, much less that an unknown force causes it.)

a) $7.01 \times 10^{-7} \textrm{ N}$

b) $1.34 \times 10^{-6} \textrm{ N}$. The force of gravity due to Jupiter is greater than that of the father by a factor of $1.9$.

OpenStax College Physics for AP® Courses, Chapter 6, Problem 39 (Problems & Exercises)

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