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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Keeping air in a well

Let's say I've got an Earth-like planet with no atmosphere: it's just a barren ball of rock. I want to live there, but I don't like domes, so instead I'm just going to dig a big hole and let gravity ...
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877 views

Would a thinner atmosphere (such as high altitude) yield better solar panel energy generation?

I am curious. If you were to put a solar panel up in high altitude or on the surface of the moon, both of which have much less atmosphere to reflect/refract light, would that solar panel produce more ...
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106 views

Jupiter: Zonal Jets in opposite directions

I recently read that the Great Red Spot arises from the shear instability of zonal flow from zonal jets travelling in opposite directions. Is there any reason why such zonal jets travel in opposite ...
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584 views

How would you move without gravity?

I'm wondering how would you move without gravity? You would still have air pressure at 1Atm. Would you "swim" in the air or would you have do something else?
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361 views

What are the coloured bands in this “Pale Blue Dot” picture?

You can see Earth in the right most band in this image: What are these bands doing in space?! Can somebody please explain the coloured bands in this image?
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746 views

Effects on a tree exposed to the vacuum of Space

My wife's kindergarten class asked, "What would happen to a tree planted on the moon?" Aside from the obvious that it would die from lack of water/air, what physical effects would happen to a tree ...
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133 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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165 views

Can structural trusses in centrifuges be helpful at all?

Imagine a rotating space station for the purpose of creating artificial gravity. Generally, such a space station is portrayed as a ring or a cylinder. Images of these space stations often have lines ...
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215 views

Hamiltonians and Lagrangians, Euclidean and Hyperbolic: Are they related?

The Lagrangian of a system is the difference between its kinetic energy $T$ and potential energy $V$, and is relativistically invariant: $L = T - V$ The Hamiltonian of the same system is the sum ...
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374 views

Know altitude and speed of an object in orbit, with true anomaly

I'm quite stuck with this problem. I know that I have an object in orbit. I know the eccentricity of that orbit, as well as the semi-major axis of the orbit. Giving a true anomaly, how do I find ...
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86 views

Current state of the existence of absolute space debate [closed]

Samir Okasha writes about the controversy concerning the existence of absolute space in Philosophy of Science: A Very Short Introduction (2002): One of the intriguing things about the ...
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115 views

What is the voltage difference between the Moon and the Earth?

The Moon and Earth are approximately spherical conductive balls and the Earth has a self-capacitance of around 710uF. Is there ever a significant potential difference in the Earth-Moon system? Is ...
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106 views

Videos of changing the orientation of an astronaut in space

Kane, Headrick and Yatteau describe in their paper "Experimental investigation of an astronaut maneuvering scheme" possible maneuvers to change the orientation in space without external torque. Is ...
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5answers
939 views

Is there perfect vacuum 10000 billion lightyears away?

Is there perfect vacuum about some 10,000 billion light years away? With perfect vacuum, I mean that there are no particles, not even virtual photons! I had this idea by assuming that all particle ...
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600 views

Why Can We See Stars In The Sky

Why is it when we look up into the night sky we can see stars. but when you see pictures taken from the ISS you don't see any stars. Why is this?
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517 views

what are dimensions?

First, discrete examples. In a computer screen I can specify any "2D" point with just one single number (pixel order starting count from first at upper left, and going on, left2right and up2down ...
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215 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 ...
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877 views

If the earth left the solar system for interstellar space. How long would it take for atmosphere to freeze

If the earth left the solar system for some reason. Assuming its moving at the same velocity it's currently exhibiting. How long would it take for the atmosphere to freeze. Would we get methane ...
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502 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. ...
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138 views

New physics at high energies, cosmic rays, particle-detectors in space

New physics is expected at high energies and cosmic rays have high energies, so have there been or are there any plans to put particle detectors in space to study cosmic rays for new physics ?
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How do spacecraft cameras work?

When I look at pictures taken by a modern spacecraft (like that one showing the surface of Titan: and taken by Cassini) I kinda understand how they might be produced. There might be some kind of ...
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1k 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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912 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?
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2k views

In summer are the upper storey flats more hot or the lower storey flats?

I have often heard neighbours talking things like in a multi storied apartment, the upper flats are more hot in summer then lower flats (or vice versa?) and similarly for some comparison in winter? ...
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204 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 ...
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133 views

Is it possible to use a powder-based firearm in space?

A firearm relies upon some kind of explosive powder to drive the slug out of the barrel. My guess however is that in space (at GEO, or higher) a firearm would be unusable due to the extremes of ...
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590 views

Would a Helium powered balloon vehicle work on Mars?

Would a Helium powered balloon vehicle work on Mars? Things that might need to be answered: How much liquidHelium would you need to pack in order to fill a balloon with enough helium gas to travel ...
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What are the temperatures of objects in Low Earth Orbit (LEO)?

What is the temperature of objects in Low Earth Orbit? Consider LEO to be 600km to 800km.
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Visualizing Electromagnetic Waves in 3D Space [closed]

I did one module of physics for my GCSE one year ago which taught me about transverse EM waves & the EM spectrum, but since then, I do not understand how a wave would move in 3D space. Can someone ...
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91 views

Do these cars rotate on themselves?

I was reading about the moon rotation around earth and the tidal lock related. I found some interesting information already here and on astronomy.stackexchange.com as well. The moon is known to have a ...
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169 views

Would we be able to hear the sun if space were full of air? [duplicate]

I was wondering if the sun could be audible from earth in an air-filled space scenario. We can ignore all the other disastrous consequences! Thanks!
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108 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 ...
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148 views

The range of light

It occurs to me that the empirical evidence shows that there is a point out in space where light stops coming from. Putting aside the expansion of the universe for a second, and focusing strictly on ...
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1k views

Would a high-explosive in a vacuum be less harmful?

Putting aside shrapnel effects, I believe that high-explosives cause damage by producing a shockwave. How do shockwaves work in space? I've managed to convince myself that a high-explosive shockwave ...
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48 views

What exactly happens to an exposed human body in space?

I know that space is a vacuum, has no air and is very, very cold. from what i have seen in movies and TV shows when a space suit is exposed the oxygen will escape will escape like a visible gas and ...
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354 views

Why does Matter occupies space? Matter and space are two things… If Space does not has mass, why should matter have space-ful nature?

This thought has completely changed my perspective towards matter. If the matter in a star can collapse to a point to form a Black hole, surely the true nature of matter should be able explain this ...
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263 views

How do I convert tangential speed to angular speed in an elliptic orbit?

I am running an animation of a satellite in an elliptic orbit (defined by a parametric equation for $x$ and $y$ as a function of $t$) and want to make sure the spacecraft is traveling at the right ...
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258 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 ...
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189 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 ...
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410 views

Speed of light in a vacuum

I see many references to the speed of light in a vacuum implying that it is only truly a constant measurement in a vacuum. I can live with that, but what kind of vacuum? Are we still talking about ...
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901 views

Tiling hexagons on a sphere surface

In attemopt to understand basic principles of non-Euclidean geometry and its relation to physical space, I am reading General Relativity by Ben Crowell. On page 149 there is a discussion of hexagons ...
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89 views

Is the environment around an asteroid harsher than in interplanetary space?

In the wikipedia article about NEAR Shoemaker it is mentioned that the craft stopped operating under these conditions: At 7 p.m. EST on February 28, 2001 the last data signals were received from ...
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Interstellar bodies

As a solar system evolves the planets interact, and in trying to achieve a harmonious state some bodies are ejected. Space is big, but I have heard that some meteorites have been found with anomalous ...
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419 views

Steady State Temperature of an Object Orbiting the Earth

This may be irrelevant or stupid to ask but I couldn't come up with a good answer. At least, we could not agree on with my friend the other day. I would like an estimate of the temperature of a human ...
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228 views

Is rocket propellant meaningfully a form of “space junk”

I imagine that most people are familiar with the concept of space junk (or space debris), which is a hazard to space exploration that grows with every item that humans leave in space. Wikipedia lists ...
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276 views

Heat reflection on distant planets

I was watching a documentary last night on the first planet discovered outside our solar system. The first one apparently is a giant gas planet that orbits very close to its sun over a very fast ...
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309 views

Distinguishing mechanical systems from general dynamical systems

[Remark: I admit that my first attempt on What makes a space a real space? was rather ill-posed and led to some confusion. Sorry for that, but please give me a second try. Part of the confusion arose ...
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32 views

What's wrong with this temperature-in-space calculation?

I'm trying to calculate the steady-state temperature of a body in space, but my numbers are coming up much too small. For example, for a 1-meter cube, I'm getting a temperature of 194 K (or -81 C). ...
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338 views

What will happen when Russia shuts down the GPS stations? [closed]

Russian officials are seriously talking about shutting down US GPS ground stations within their borders and Deputy Prime Minister of Russia tweeted on the subject. What will happen to the GPS? My ...
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162 views

Is matter a continuous part of the field of space-time? [duplicate]

I recently found this quote by Einstein (in On the Generalized Theory of Gravitation, 1950), and it seems to me like he is saying that matter is a part of the field of space-time, and is nothing more ...