Does the earth's mass increase? Even in insignificant quantities?
Asked by: Jorge Luis Mendez
The Earth gains mass each day as a result of incoming
debris from space. You may have even seen evidence of this
activity in the form of a 'falling star', or meteor,
on a dark night.
While the actual amount of added material depends on which study you
look at, an estimated 10 to the 8th power kilograms of
in-falling matter accumulates every day. That
seemingly large amount, however, IS insignificant compared to
the Earth's total mass of almost 10 to the 25th power kilograms.
In other words, Earth adds an estimated one quadrillionth of
one percent to its weight each day. I don't know of any
counteracting mass LOSS mechanism of any consequence.
Answered by: Paul Walorski, B.A. Physics, Part-time Physics Instructor
'For the sake of persons of ... different types, scientific truth should be presented in different forms, and should be regarded as equally scientific, whether it appears in the robust form and the vivid coloring of a physical illustration, or in the tenuity and paleness of a symbolic expression.'