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Gravity (from Latin gravitas, meaning 'weight'[1]), or gravitation, is a natural phenomenon by which all things with mass or energyâ€”including planets, stars, galaxies, and even light[2]â€”are brought toward (or gravitate toward) one another. On Earth, gravity gives weight to physical objects, and the Moon's gravity causes the ocean tides. The gravitational attraction of the original gaseous matter present in the Universe caused it to begin coalescing, forming starsâ€”and for the stars to group together into galaxiesâ€”so gravity is responsible for many of the large-scale structures in the Universe. Gravity has an infinite range, although its effects become increasingly weaker as objects get further away. Gravity is most accurately described by the general theory of relativity (proposed by Albert Einstein in 1915) which describes gravity not as a force, but as a consequence of the curvature of spacetime caused by the uneven distribution of mass. The most extreme example of this curvature of spacetime is a black hole, from which nothingâ€”not even lightâ€”can escape once past the black hole's event horizon.[3] However, for most applications, gravity is well approximated by Newton's law of universal gravitation, which describes gravity as a force which causes any two bodies to be attracted to each other, with the force proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.

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