Are you really lighther at the equator than at the North Pole or South Pole?

Question by Guest | Last update on 2024-06-09 | Created on 2018-03-13

When I got excited about my weight for the last time, a colleague told me not to complain but to just weigh myself at the equator instead of here, then I had no problems any more.

He claimed that persons are much heavier at the North Pole or South Pole and much ligther at the equator. Is he right?

Well, in principle he is indeed right. However, the differences are not as big as you might imagine.

The measurable weight depends on the acceleration of gravity respectively the gravitational force. And this is different at different places. For example, think of the moon, where we are much lighter than on earth.

But there are also differences on the earth itself. For example, if we climb very high into the sky and remove ourselves from the earth and its force of attraction or even in different places of the world. The difference between the equator and the poles, however, is very small with only 0.5% difference. That means that if you weigh 70 kg at the North Pole, it is still 69.65 kg at the equator. Whether it is worth a trip for these 350 g "weight loss" is up to you.

In the question why the acceleration of gravity at the equator is smaller than at the poles, I explained where this difference comes from and here I show an example how you can calculate the local gravity on your own.
Last update on 2024-06-09 | Created on 2018-03-13

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