Click on the image above to launch the Gravity science interactive.
When a spacecraft orbits a solar system body, forces of gravity tug on it. Despite fast orbital speed, changes as small as .04 mm/sec can be detected!
Scientists realized these variations are clues to how materials inside the body are organized. Gravity helps measure the materials’ density & the composition of different regions across and below the surface.
Missions like Dawn map these forces to build a concept of a body’s internal structure.
Interactive developed by Optera Group, Denver, Colorado in collaboration with McREL International. ©2017