SAT Subject Physics Practice Question 638: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 638

4. An astronaut visits the planet Mars, which has less of a gravitational acceleration than the earth. While on Mars, the astronaut will notice that his

A. weight is less and his mass is greater.
B. weight is the same and his mass is the same.
C. weight is less and his mass is the same.
D. weight is the same and his mass is less.
E. weight is less and his mass is less.

Correct Answer: C

Explanation:

The correct answer is (C). The weight of the astronaut is dependent upon the gravitational attraction of the planetary body. Mars has a lower gravitational attraction than the earth, so the astronaut weighs less on Mars. The mass of an object, or a person, is an intrinsic quality of a body that does not change.

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