Gravity Well Education

People's Choice Nominee

Gravity Well Education received a People's Choice Nomination.


Do you have an idea that doesn't fit any of the other challenges? This is the place for you, whether you want to design and develop an app, create a data visualization, hack on an Arduino... or anything else you can think of!


Objects with mass distort Spacetime in a way that is refered to as a gravity well. Two objects attracting each other via gravity is a little like two bowling balls on a mattress rolling towards each other. I heard about a 3D printed display of how gravity wells worked that sounded like it would fit well with my mad scientist toy company. I wanted to print a copy of the design but I couldn't find it. Then I realized that I could just design what I thought it would be in blender using the information from an XKCD comic and

a picture of the solar system to scale size of plants and size of gravity wells.The design is hosted on Thingiverse. The Center Rotation file shows the sun's gravity well and Jupiter's Gravity Well. The Saturn's rotation Gravity well has a continuation of the Sun's gravity well and Saturn's Gravity well.

I was going to do all 8 planets with individual rotation cylinders but I quickly saw how my concept has a flaw because plastic is static in a way that gravity wells are not. Also I have not thought of a good way to depict eliptical orbits in rotational cylinders.

Would depicting just the Earth and the moon's Gravity wells a useful educational tool to anyone?

Resources Used

I used visual information displayed on XKCD and NASA's website to generate Tachtile information that is more interactive in the form of a 3d printed toy. Can you get a marble going fast enough for it to sling shot away from the sun?

Made inMinneapolis, MN USA
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