Conceptual Physics (12th Edition)

Published by Addison-Wesley
ISBN 10: 0321909100
ISBN 13: 978-0-32190-910-7

Chapter 9 - Think and Discuss: 90

Answer

If one could wave a magic wand and instantly turn off the moon's gravitational attraction for its surface rocks, the rocks would not fall to Earth. Assuming Earth's gravity is unaffected, the rocks would simply continue in their orbit around the Earth. They are in free fall, but due to their tangential speed are in orbit and would not get any closer to Earth.
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