Gravitational energy is the potential energy of a mass \(m_2\) which is in the gravitational field of another mass \(m_1\) at a distance \(r\) from it. The gravitational energy is negative (see the minus sign in the formula) so that the mass \(m_2\) has a smaller (more negative) potential energy when it is closer to \(m_2\).

Distance

$$ r $$ Unit $$ \mathrm{m} $$

Distance of mass \( m_2 \) from mass \( m_1 \). The potential energy of the mass \(m_2\) goes from negative values to zero when the mass is further away from the mass \(m_1\).

Mass

$$ m_1 $$ Unit $$ \mathrm{kg} $$

The mass of the first body, e.g. the earth.

Mass

$$ m_2 $$ Unit $$ \mathrm{kg} $$

The mass of the second body, e.g. the moon.

Gravitational constant

$$ G $$ Unit $$ \frac{\mathrm{m}^3}{\mathrm{kg} \, \mathrm{s}^2} $$

Gravitational constant is a physical constant and has the value \( G = 6.674 ~\cdot~ 10^{-11} \frac{\mathrm N \, \mathrm{m}^2}{\mathrm{kg}^2} \).

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