My 3,5 year old son is asking :-) He can take answers for a 15 yo I think. Many thanks for your help!


The gravitational field of the Earth has not a border, what you can leave and there is weightlessness. Instead, going more and more far away from the Earth, so will its gravity weaker and weaker.

At some point, the gravity of other bodies (Moon, Sun, other planets) will be stronger than the Earths.

What will happen to a body which leaves the space where not the gravity of the Earth is the strongest, depends on the gravitational force of the other bodies of the solar system. These are also moving (mostly, orbiting the Sun and the moons are orbiting their planets), thus there is no general answer to your question.

For example, in the case of the Starman car (Elon Musk's Tesla shot into the space) will have this orbit in some centuries. Where will it be in millions of years, there are only probabilistic calculations. If the object did not left the Earth too quickly (it went only a little faster than the escape speed), then it it will likely start a roughly "random walk" between the orbits of the Venus and the Mars. This is what also most known asteroids are doing.

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ Is the orange curve a weighted median of the predicted path? $\endgroup$ – Carl Witthoft Sep 11 '19 at 15:00
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    $\begingroup$ @CarlWitthoft The image doesn't detail it, but I think, the orange curve is the orbit of the Mars. The orbit of the Testla now and 100 years later are the red orbits (the upper image). On the image below, the possible locations of the Tesla are in 3million years. This image is to illustrate, that mainly can't be said categorically, what will happen to a body after "leaving the gravitational field of the Earth". $\endgroup$ – peterh - Reinstate Monica Sep 11 '19 at 15:06
  • $\begingroup$ Many thanks for your reply! $\endgroup$ – Renata Sep 15 '19 at 17:54

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