What is the weight of a man with a mass of 80 kg on Earth and the moon?

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bandmanjoe | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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Let us make sure we understand mass and weight are not the same thing.  80 kg of mass is not the same thing as 80 N of weight.  To calculate weight, we use Newton's 2nd Law of Motion, which gives us the formula "Force = mass x acceleration".  We would take the mass given, 80 kg, and multiply it times the acceleration of Earth's downward pull on that mass, 9.8 m/s/s.

784 N = 80 kg x 9.8 m/s/s

So the weight on Earth is 784 newtons. 

Now the gravitational attraction of the moon is about 1/6 that of the Earth, or about 17%.  To calculate the weight on the moon, simply multiply 784 N times .17, or 17% in decimal form:

784 N x .17 = 133.28 N

So the weight of the same 80 kg mass on the moon is 133.28 N.

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