Zero Gravity Day—Straight Dope Please

I didn’t see any other threads on this: LINK.

I’m not so curious about the headline (Float For 5 Minutes!) but the comment near the end of the article has me wondering: “…if you jump in the air at 9:47AM local time on January 4th 2014, it should take you about 3 seconds to land back on your feet instead of the usual 0.2 seconds.”

As the title says: Straight Dope Please.

Straight Dope is nope.

The other planets have only the tiniest gravitational pull on us. Is gravity less when the moon is overhead than when it’s behind you on the other side of the earth?

Is gravity less at noon than at midnight?

Both the sun and moon have much higher pulls on us than the rest of the planets put together.

It only works if you know one weird trick.

I figured it was hokum.

I suspect an attempt by some evil mastermind to convince the population of China to jump in the air at the same time, knocking the Earth out of its orbit when they land!

According to Wikipedia, this is an old April Fool’s Joke. Sir Patrick Moore passed away about a year ago.

You’re burying the lead here. Sir Patrick Moore has been dead for a year - but he still made an announcement to astronomers on Dec. 16! Proof of an afterlife!

And, hey, maybe he now knows some things he didn’t know before!

So Pluto is a planet again?

I thought it was a cartoon dog.

The problem is the Pluto weighs so little, it wouldn’t matter. Now if Pluto were to block Jupiter’s gravity, then you’d have something. This is what I thought of when I read the article.

Yeah, but this zero-G trick can only be explained if you know Pluto exists. Astrologers were mystified when people started floating on Jan 4, 1847.

I love in particular that it says “local time.” I guess gravity reads clocks now. If I stop my clock at that time can I float longer than 3 seconds?

Before reading the entitre thread I thought to myself that it was very early for an April Fool’s Joke.

It was downgraded to a dwarf, and boy has it been “moody” ever since.

If you jump into the air just before 2 am you won’t land until 3 am. Provided it is time to spring forward for daylight saving time.

Remember, it’s 9:47am. The blistering speed of Pluto across the sky means the effect is impossible mere minutes on either side of this time.:wink:

You will also be able to balance a raw egg on both ends at the same time!

That’s not Mars as big as the Moon … that IS the Moon

That’s no moon.

It’s allowed to be for a couple of days a year. (It was thought to be a bit harsh to demote it “cold turkey”.)

Well, if you put it that way, the Straight Dope to both of your questions is yes. “Tiniest” is not “none.”