How High Can You Jump on Planets?

- 04 Dec 2020

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Gravity keeps our feet on the ground and pets from floating past us in our yards. It keeps us from jumping higher than a few feet. How high could you jump on other planets?

The average person can only jump about 18″ (.5 meters). Professional high jumpers can cross over a bar about 6.5 feet (1.9 meters) off the ground. Javier Sotomayor (Cuba) is the current men’s record holder with a jump of 2.45 m (8 ft 14 in) set in 1993.  It takes a running start to jump that high. However, the highest “standing jump” record holder, Evan Ungar, jumped 5.3 feet (1.61 meters) in 2016.

How High Could You Jump?

What if you visited other planets? Do they have gravity to affect a jump? On Mercury, your “standing jump” would excel to 4 feet (1.21 meters). While it may seem fun to jump 4 feet, the weather conditions would prevent you from staying long. The sunny side of Mercury reaches about 800 degrees (427˚ Celsius). If the daytime heat does not affect your stay, the night time temperatures will. Mercury’s temperature drops to -280˚F (-138˚ Celsius) after dark. Oh, and the days last a little longer. One Mercury solar day (one full day-night cycle) equals 176 Earth days.

Venus’ gravity is almost 91 percent of Earth’s. Therefore, you could jump a little higher, and objects would feel lighter on Venus than Earth.

It might be fun to jump on Earth’s moon. The Moon’s surface gravity is about 1/6th as powerful or about 1.6 meters per second. The Moon’s surface gravity is weaker because it is far less massive than Earth. One could jump about 9 feet (2.7 m) on the moon.

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Jumping Further in Space

The gravity on Mars is much lower than here on Earth. A “standing jump” on Mars would reach about 4 feet (1.2 meters). Jupiter is a gas giant and, therefore, does not have a surface. Since Jupiter does not offer much in the way of jumping fun, it’s off to visit its moon, Ganymede. Ganymede offers a great jumping experience. A person can jump about 10 feet (3 meters).

Saturn, another gas giant, cannot offer a fun jumping experience. However, Saturn’s moon Titan offers another fun jumping experience. How does jumping 11 feet (3.35 meters) sound? Robert Pershing Wadlow, also known as the Alton Giant and the Giant of Illinois, was an American man who was the tallest person in recorded history. Mr. Wadlow reached a height of 8 feet 11 inches. If you were standing next to Mr. Wadlow on Titan and jumped, you could literally jump over his head.

Robert Wadlow

The Last Two Planets

Uranus is an ice giant (instead of a gas giant). It is mostly made of flowing icy materials above a solid core. Uranus has a thick atmosphere made of methane, hydrogen, and helium. If one jumped, they would only reach about 1.7 feet (.6 meters). Of course, with the temperatures reaching -377˚ F (-227˚ Celsius), one may risk freezing before landing back on the ice.

Neptun, like Uranus, is also an ice giant. It has a little more gravity than Uranus. Therefore, you would only reach about 1.3 feet (.4 meters) upon jumping. For more fun, one could head over to Triton, one of Neptune’s moons. A single jump here would reach about 19 feet (5.8 meters).  An adult giraffe measures about 20 feet tall. If you had a giraffe along with you on Triton, you could look him in the eye. That would be a lot of fun.

How high can you jump?

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