The near-vacuum extending between the planets and stars, containing small amounts of gas and dust. Also called outer space to refer to the physical universe beyond the Earth's atmosphere.

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3answers
1k views

What is meant by Vacuum?

What is the exact meaning of the word vacuum? Is it just a state of very low pressure or is it nothingness (as in there is nothing)? Also, when we say space is vacuum - it must be referring to ...
6
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0answers
194 views

What exactly is the composition of radiation in interplanetary space?

The articles I found on radiation in the solar system mostly dealt with solar wind, I wonder about other types. Is there a breakdown that tells me, withhin an order of magnitude, at least what ...
6
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2answers
231 views

Physics and math behind flight through solar system: Where to start?

I wrote a first program that simulates a solar system. I was able to calculate the locations for every planet on its elliptical route for any given time. In a second program i managed to simulate ...
1
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5answers
661 views

Nothing vs. empty space

This question quotes Hawking saying: [...] you enter a world where conjuring something out of nothing is possible (at least, for a short while). That's because at this scale particles, such as ...
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2answers
665 views

Are quantum fluctuations completely uncaused events?

I read here that particles/antiparticles appear and annihilate each other spontaneously in empty space. Since particles appear and disappear in empty space, it would seem that empty space has some ...
3
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1answer
125 views

Non-isolated universe and arrow of space

Could you please help me to understand two statements in physics: 1) Universe by definition is an isolated system. But universe expands, space pours into universe, space (vacuum) has zero-point ...
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0answers
69 views

Solar sail area going to Proxima Centari [closed]

I have a physics question that I need some help with: "Proxima Centauri is a star in the Alpha Centauri solar system, it’s the nearest star to our sun (4.24light−years) ...
6
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4answers
944 views

What causes the permittivity and permeability of vacuum?

When light travels through a material, it gets "slowed down" (at least its net speed decreases). The atoms in the material "disturb" the light in some way which causes it to make stops on its path. ...
9
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2answers
231 views

What are the limitations of performing music in space?

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield's song Space Oddity is making news around the world today. It makes me wonder: What are the limitations of performing music in space? Clearly, there is no point to ...
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1answer
108 views

Absorption of Water

I was just watching the videos Chris Hadfield put on youtube from space, and was wondering why water doesn't get absorbed as well onto his toothbrush in space? And what characteristic of ...
6
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3answers
463 views

Why Can We Observe Space Curvature / Warping At All?

I don't understand why we are able to see and measure curvature / warping of space at all. Space as I understand it determines distances between objects, so if space were "compressed" or warped, ...
1
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1answer
68 views

What type of Radiation hits Europa

I was recently reading the Wikipedia Page for Europa as I am interested in terra-formation. In one of the sentences, it says that: The radiation level at the surface of Europa is equivalent to a ...
4
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1answer
276 views

Oberth Effect in deep space

Does the Oberth effect only apply when in orbit of a planet or would a rocket generate more and more thrust (if kept on) even in deep space? Wikipedia explains that the faster the rocket goes, the ...
5
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2answers
614 views

What is the fastest a spacecraft can get using gravity-assist?

Assuming normal spacecraft and space objects (no neutron stars, black holes, etc). To what speed can a spacecraft accelerate using gravity-assist? For example, if a spacecraft is moving at ...
0
votes
1answer
254 views

Composition of solar spectrum

I read some where that there are three types of UV and infrared rays namely UV-A, UV-B, UV-C and near infrared, mid infrared and far infrared. Which is the most abundant among the the three in ...
6
votes
1answer
313 views

Has Voyager 1 entered a solar radiation belt?

The Voyager 1 probe was sent out in 1977 to go where no man made object has gone before, after more than 35 years it’s still going strong. It’s now 124 AU away from Earth and many are wondering when ...
4
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2answers
110 views

Orbit in the vacuum

As the space is a vacuum and there is no friction in space, Can we assume that, if we place an object in gravity in exactly the right distance from a planet with gravity and in the right acceleration, ...
5
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2answers
623 views

What is the largest sphere of liquid water that could exist in space held together under it's own gravity? [duplicate]

What is the largest theoretical sphere of liquid water that could exist in space held together under it's own gravity? I've always wondered if a planet the size of earth could exist as a single volume ...
4
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2answers
132 views

How hot would space feel?

I read that the temperature of the space around the earth can vary greatly depending on whether or not it is in direct sunlight. Space, however, is not very dense, so I imagine that heat would not ...
2
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1answer
105 views

Can a rotating-ring space-station design be applied to a rotating sphere?

Suppose engineers built a rotating space station similar to Space Station V from the film 2001: A Space Odyssey (circa 1968), but with a large sphere, instead of a ring? Could this be rotated or ...
3
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1answer
153 views

Under what practical conditions would Earth's atmosphere be a dilatant?

I have read and heard in many places that when the astronauts of Apollo were coming back to Earth, they had to determine the best angle of attack to re-enter the atmosphere. This is usually indicated ...
3
votes
1answer
108 views

Would an object float if it were placed in the center of a rotating space station?

Suppose engineers built a large circular room in a rotating space station where if one looked directly up from any location, one could see the floor. If one used a ladder to reach the center of the ...
3
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3answers
231 views

How do we know for certain that space is expanding?

How do we know for certain that space is expanding? Let's say that in the year 1950, we observe that galaxy 1 is 5 billion light years away from us and galaxy 2 is 10 billion light years away from ...
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1answer
172 views

Does Dark Matter have more space-time or particle characteristics?

Dark Matter appears to have more in common with phenomena related to spatial geometry then a particle. I thought in General Relativity, space can be curved without the presence of matter so ...
3
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1answer
313 views

How much time has passed for Voyager I since it left the Earth, 34 years ago?

34 years have passed since Voyager I took off and it's just crossing the solar system, being approximately at 16.4 light-hours away. How much time have passed for itself, though?
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2answers
338 views

Can Outer Space be used for Waste Disposal?

If harmful toxic, nuclear and other wastes are dangerous if improperly disposed on Earth, can't they be launched into space? If a large, tightly bound mass of waste were to be propelled into outer ...
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2answers
3k views

What is the limit to how many satellites can orbit the earth?

I would like to know how many satellites are physically able to be in place, at the same time, orbiting the earth. Lets ignore which Nations need or use the most satellites (area in space above them) ...
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2answers
52 views

One Particle in a Vacuum

I recently watch a lecture by Neil Tyson where he said the closest thing we have to a vacuum is interstellar space. I believe he said there will be one atom per 1 cubic meter or something close to ...
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1answer
78 views

How much energy is needed to curve the space so the Sun will come 1 meter closer to our planet? [closed]

How much energy/work will it take if our planet is: 5.9736×1024 kg or 3.0×10−6 Suns to move Sun and Earth 1 meter closer ...
0
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1answer
89 views

Do all forces act in the same way where gravity is close to zero?

Suppose that I put in the outer space (where gravity from other bodies is negligible) a large, perfectly round sphere totally filled with water. At the bottom (even though "bottom" doesn't make much ...
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2answers
213 views

Is this a great flaw in big bang theory? [duplicate]

Einstein said that, Time & Space cannot exists without one another. Big bang says, time didn't exist before the big bang. So the Primordial ball referred in the Big Bang theory didn't had any ...
3
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1answer
184 views

Influence of air resistance in space

Consider the following situation: You are locked inside a cylindric container allowing you to move around freely without being in contact with any of the items or surfaces aboard. The container is ...
2
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1answer
450 views

Does the metal foam “whiffleball” orbital reentry idea make any sense?

Planetary Resources is a company speaking publicly about mining near Earth asteroids for resources. I'm interested the physicality of a claim they make in a video here: ...
3
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5answers
3k views

If a space ship accelerated constantly, would its astronauts constantly feel the forward movement?

I know that if a space ship suddenly traveled very fast, its astronauts would be fly against the back wall, potentially getting hurt. If the space ship suddenly stopped, they would also fly against ...
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2answers
233 views

Will a rotating object traveling along a linear path continue to rotate forever in space?

Suppose engineers built a cylinder-shaped space ship which rotates to create artificial gravity: ...
2
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3answers
400 views

What is the relationship between the radius of a ring in a rotating space station and the strength of the artificial gravity generated?

Suppose engineers built a rotating space station similar to Space Station V from the film 2011: A Space Odyssey, but with multiple concentric rings where astronauts can live. ...
2
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1answer
252 views

What are the odds of 2012 DA14 hitting a satellite or the moon?

Asteroid 2012 DA14 will pass by close to Earth. Very close. So close, in fact, that it's inside the orbit of the moon and even inside the orbit of geostationary satellites, as shown by this ...
18
votes
7answers
1k views

What grounds the difference between space and time?

We experience space and time very differently. From the point of view of physics, what fundamentally grounds this difference? Dimensionality (the fact that there are three spatial dimensions but only ...
2
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2answers
172 views

Is there a map of the particles in outer space?

Since outer space is not quite a vacuum, and the distribution of various heavenly bodies is locally inhomogeneous, it seems reasonable to expect that the density and variety of particles ...
2
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3answers
183 views

Temperature in space

Temperature is a measure of kinetic energy transferred to particles, henceforth, space being vacuum, temperature cannot be measured. But then, there is cosmic background radiation. It is the leftover ...
2
votes
2answers
184 views

Curved space or curved spacetime?

As I understand it, you can have time + flat space = curved spacetime. So, when one is trying to emphasise that there is a curvature to the space, is it more technically correct to say curved space ...
1
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0answers
32 views

How do stars look like from space? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Optical explanation of images of stars? What are these rays that appear in photograph of sun? I thought stars should look round shaped (similar to a sphere, or oblate ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

How does sound travel in space?

In relation to this question: How can a black hole produce sound? Which notes that the hole "produces" sound. The top answer states that: What you think of as the hard vacuum of outer space ...
2
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3answers
687 views

Spaceships travelling through space and debris

How can a spaceship travel through space if there is space debris flying around at very high speeds? Wouldn't even a small rock crack through the spaceship?
3
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1answer
135 views

What's wrong with this reactionless drive?

I think this is analogues for the Woodward effect, but macroscopic: We assume a spacecraft consisting of a broomstick, a donut and lots of gear for storing and transfering mechanical energy. Take the ...
64
votes
7answers
6k views

How can a black hole produce sound?

I was reading this article from NASA -- it's NASA -- and literally found myself perplexed. The article describes the discovery that black holes emit a "note" that has physical ramifications on the ...
6
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5answers
4k views

Why can't a spaceship accelerate for ever? Since there is no friction in space

I have seen many answers like: because we don't have infinite energy, because of gravity, because it is impossible, because of physics. But they don't really answer my question.. I mean if there is ...
1
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3answers
598 views

Can one heat up a vacuum?

I've got a question about heating a vacuum. If there were, say, a container in space, at 2.7 degrees kelvin (the typical temperature of space, if I'm not mistaken) and as empty as space (as close to ...
4
votes
2answers
206 views

In a spaceship, if a vessel suddently stops will an object inside the vessel keep going?

My question is a 2 part question. First if a vessel in space is going very fast and suddently stops (maybe it is not possible but that is not the point) will things/humans inside the vessel keep ...
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2answers
105 views

Could a spacecraft dock with the voyager 1?

Is the Voyager 1 (or any similar exploration spacecraft) equipped with the ability for space to dock with it (attach to it)? Hypothetically, if a voyager or similar spacecraft were in Earth's orbit, ...