The Gravitational Limit at which Humans could Survive

The Gravitational Limit at which Humans could Survive

The maximum gravitational field that humans can survive on an exoplanet is 4.6 times the gravity of our planet.

The idea of colonizing foreign worlds is becoming more and more popular these days but it is easier said than done. Despite the fact that a lot of space agencies are striving to accomplish this feat, it doesn’t seem to be happening any time soon. The first and foremost challenge that the scientists need to overcome is to find a planet which is suitable for humans. The factors that are generally discussed in this regard include liquid water and oxygen but a lot more than that is needed to consider a planet as habitable.

For instance, finding a planet with the maximum gravity that we could survive is a crucial task for all those people who want to make humans a multi-planetary species. It will be vital to make these calculations before landing on a new massive planet because a gravitational field too strong can lead to some destructive results like pulling all the blood we have in our legs. According to a recent study published in ‘arXiv’, the maximum gravity that the humans may survive is 4.5 times the gravitational force of Earth.

The team of researchers began their work by calculating the compressive strength of a human bone. Initial research showed that a human skeleton can manage a gravitational field of more than 90 times the Earth’s gravity. However, this holds true only when you are standing still. As soon as you start running, the whole scenario changes drastically. The amount of stress on our bones increases by a factor of ten when they tend to flex and bend, rigorously.

In order to estimate the gravitational limit of humans, the researching team turned their focus towards the experiment of Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson. He is a strongman from Iceland who smashed a 1000-year-old record by walking 5 steps with a weight of 1430 pounds on his shoulders. Nikola Poljak, one of the researchers, explained that the achievement of Björnsson is an ideal reference because strong gravitational field makes you feel as if you are carrying a hefty amount of weight on your shoulders.

On the basis of Björnsson achievement, the team of Poljak estimated that a strongman might manage a few steps on an exoplanet having a gravitational force of 4.6 times the Earth’s. Having said that, we must realize the physical stature of Björnsson who weighs more than 400 pounds and has a height of 6’9”. The fact that he is the only athlete ever to win the World’s Strongest Man, Arnold Strongman Classic, and Europe’s Strongest Man competitions speak for his strength.

Poljak mentioned that as far as average humans are concerned, we must look for an exoplanet which has a gravitational field of 3-4 times the gravity of Earth. He is confident that this study will help scientists to focus their search for a habitable planet. He referred to that in the following words:

“Now we know that there is no point in hoping to settle planets with high g-values.”

Have a look at the power and strength of Björnsson in the following video:

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