Monday, July 09, 2007

Help pleeze

I can talk quite a bit. I'm not often lost for words, but somehow kids have a knack of asking the questions that I don't know the answers to.

Today: "What is the bounciest planet".

Anyone, anyone?


noizy said...

smaller = less gravity = bouncier.

so, if we still consider pluto a planet, it's pluto.

if not (and some don't), you should go for mercury, then mars.

llew said...

But could it be some tasteless variation on "Uranus"?

Martha Craig said...

James, thanks for the sensible answer, and Llew, yes, my instinct was to answer Uranus.

David said...

>smaller = less gravity = bouncier.

But gas planets are likely to be bouncier than solid ones... if you don't believe this, then try throwing a rock and then a balloon at your car. So I'll go for the smallest of the gassy planets. Which is, errr, Uranus. Proving that science and dirty humour can coincide.

Martha Craig said...

Yay! David to the rescue, being able to integrate Uranus into any space question is my total goal in life.

Hadyn said...

Actually gassy planets are just that, gas. Instead of throwing a balloon it's more like throwing a ball of air at your car.

I would actually go for Mercury. Pluto is kinda rocky and irregular.

Martha Craig said...

It depends on what is bouncing. It could be whether we'd bounce on it, an atom, a balloon, it could be whether the planet itself would bounce if dropped from a great height.

Myself, I'm rooting for the Marshmellow Planet in the great Rocky Road.

Miramar Michael said...

>smaller = less gravity = bouncier.
Aha, that would explain ... never mind.

Um, how about Mars being the bounciest - because once I've eaten a whole bar I am bouncy BOUNCY B O U N C Y!
(think Tigger if you have to)

BTW: Awesome question, keep 'em coming kids!

David said...

>Actually gassy planets are just that, gas.

I'd assumed that they'd liquefy towards their centers. Is that not true?

Pixie said...

Oh you amatuers. the answer is "I don't know Wanda, what do you think is the bounciest planet?".

David said...

Let Wikipedia be your friend...

"Gas giants may have a rocky or metallic core—in fact, such a core is thought to be required for a gas giant to form—but the majority of its mass is in the form of the gaseous hydrogen and helium, with traces of water, methane, ammonia, and other hydrogen compounds. (Although familiar to us as gases on Earth, these constituents are expected to be compressed into liquids or solids deep in a gas giant's atmosphere.)"

Martha Craig said...

Would that give it the essential bouncing property of a trampoline?

David said...

I've got to speculate here... this is starting to sound like the "walrus in a spacecraft" discussions I used to have while working for the European Space Agency. But...

I think that none of the solid planets are going to be like a trampoline. Regardless of gravity, you just don't bounce when you drop on to solid ground.

But I suspect that if you fell in to a gas giant, then sooner or later you are going to reach a depth where the pressure of the gas and liquid outside your body is greater than that inside your body. So you'll stop, and then move upwards. Sort of like falling in to a swimming pool, where you're going to sink, stop, then float back to the surface. Is that like a trampoline?

But I'm not a boffin. But your bloke is, so why isn't he answering these questions?

Cathi said...

I think you're very wise to seek advice before answering this question. It won't be long before your children try to trap you. My friend Flo, aged 10, got her poor mother by asking "Why don't birds explode when they stand on electric wires?" Her answer still keeps Flo giggling now: "Don't be silly Florence, it's because their feet aren't made of metal"

Urban Chick said...

um, could someone give me an answer to 'why does the pavement not move?'

muchas gracias, amigos y amigas

ndiginiz said...

Tena koe ehoa
Kind of a tough one but here my inert 5 cents worth....

Q: "Mum what's the bounciest planet?"
A: "Darling according to your dad the bounciest planet is posterious-backsidus"
Q: "What planet is that mummy?"
A: "It's a planet in a far behind galaxy away from other stars and other planets"
Q: "Why is it so far away mummy?"
A: "Well darling, it has to separate itself from other planets at a young adult age because the male speices of the planet has certain thoughts on what a bouncy planet should look and feel like".
"You see the planet posterious-backsidus is the female species of the planet and her feelings get hurt when her male partner says certain things".
Q: "Things like what mummy"
A: "Well stuff like".... "Honey have you put the rubbish out or you gonna sit on it for a while?" or "Gees you've lost a lot of mass, it's dropped off your face and gone straight to your...."
Q: "This planet has rubbish mummy?"
A: "No, not really darling"
Q: "So posterious-backsidus is the bounciest planet, mummy?"
A: "Yes, well that's what your daddy reckoned last night when he was taking the rubbish out and checking the mail".

...."Don't worry darling that's a whole new question you can ask me when you're a little older"