How do you determine what is above and below in space?

A matter of agreements.In The ISS is the side where the Earth is: “under”. In the solar System the side where the sun is. In the Galaxy is Sagitarius A (black hole in the center) under. In The interstellar space the nearest galaxy.

There is no above and below in space, because we mean above and below normal versus gravity.For yourself you could mean in space: above my head, under my feet.

Point to any side and name it ‘ above ‘.The other side is then below. In space, ‘ above ‘ and ‘ under ‘ have no meaning.

These notions have the meaning to indicate the direction of gravity on Earth.And thus have no meaning in space. Or you have to put the gravitational force that most influence you exert ‘ under ‘. That gives a little hold. But it won’t feel that way. Because one movement and ‘ under ‘ is ‘ above ‘ you. It will only lead to disorientation seems to me so.

Beautiful question, but above and below are notions that people have developed derived from our constant position on the earth, with the feet directed towards the middle of the earth and the head the other way. On the other side of the earth are above and below so reversed .

In space you could keep the same and determine your position relative to the Earth.Where the earth is then is below and the other side on top.

If the earth is not in view, then there is no bottom and top.You could think of it in the positions of the celestial bodies.

We have already done the same with the northern and southern hemisphere; There is also no top and bottom, but because the people who thought it lived in the northern hemisphere (where we also live) are those who go above it (people do not seem to like it “under”, probably because of the association With under the ground, and under in social sense).

That is not the way.If you are on or near a planet where gravity draws you: that is below or below. Exactly the other way up is upwards.

‘ Above ‘ and ‘ under ‘ are entirely relative concepts.In A gravitational field like that of the Earth this is simple: the source of the field is below, the opposite above. So if you are standing on the earth, the ground beneath your feet is beneath and the visible space hangs over your head.

For our brains, this is a logical distinction to make as we have always had a 2-dimensional earth surface in orientation and navigation during our evolution.If you want to navigate in a 3-dimensional reality, you need an orientation on each of those three axes to understand how the information of your senses tells you something about your environment.

We visualize this in simple situations with a XYZ coordinate system:

If you can determine the orientation of gravity by means of the equilibrium organ and thus you can indicate up and down you have directly defined the Z-axis (blue arrow) and your brain does not need to interpret any difficult images of your eyes to finish this Lead.

Therefore, many people are also dizzy and confused if their balancing body does not do its job properly; In fact, it throws your whole perception of your own place in surroundings by the war.

Well, in the ‘ space ‘ you don’t have a gravitational field and you suddenly have to let go of this whole idea of gravity-related above and below.

It now becomes a matter of perspective and function: Where are you and what do you want to do? Which appointments fit the best?

Are you in a job to Mars and would you like to land?Then take your absolute position on the surface of the planet where you hang above as below and the reverse as above.

Hang out in ‘ the-middle-of-nowhere ‘ with your spaceship and want to navigate Yes adv.

The stars? Then take the rotating center of the universe as your Z axis and choose an ‘ upstairs ‘ on that axis.

Are you in orbit around the Earth and would you like to fly out of the solar system?

Then take the sun as you Z axis, as 90 degrees angle to the plane on which the planets in the solar system run on average.

It is a matter of making the right arrangements in space and what you need to make the situation as manageable as possible for everyone who needs to work with it.


In the space one can speak of a “above” and a “under”.Has all with gravity to make and gravity is present everywhere in space. See Why is there no up and down in space?

Frankly, I have no answer to this, but you are thinking.

Probably there is no below or above anymore.It is then no longer functional. Dr space in which you live can be used when you take a cube on all six surfaces, but without tables and chairs. Unless you have artificial gravitational force.

These are just a few reflections.

In space There is no above or below.

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