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What kept the moon traveling in its orbit around Earth? Since the moon was in motion, why didn't it fall out of the sky in a straight line?
A single force explained a falling apple on earth and the movements of heavenly bodies. I call this force gravity!
All physical objects, had a force of attraction between them. The strength of the force depended on the masses of the objects and distance between them.
For example, the moon and the earth tugged on each other. At a certain point in space, these "tugs" canceled each other out. The result was the moon trapped in its orbit around the earth. In contrast, an apple had a small mass and was very close to earth, so gravity dragged it to the ground.
The book Newton published, the Principia , presents the law of gravity. It also described three laws of motion. Newton's laws provided a physical explanation for what earlier scientists had discovered. For instance, others had shown that the planets traveling around the sun.
Newton's laws dramatically changed people's picture of the universe. Many people began to see the universe as a beautifully designed machine. Some compared it to a well built clock. The same mathematical laws applied everywhere. All people had to was discover them.
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