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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

3
votes
2answers
434 views

Is there an analogue of configuration space in quantum mechanics?

In classical mechanics coordinates are something a bit secondary. Having a configuration space $Q$ (manifold), coordinates enter as a mapping to $\mathbb R^n$, $q_i : Q \to \mathbb R$. The primary ...
0
votes
3answers
440 views

How will you measure speed in km/hr in space?

How is the speed of an object in space measured? Also more importantly how do you measure your own speed in space? On the road we use a speedometer which tells us the speed easily. How is it done in ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

What happened to Apollo's Saturn-third-stage rockets?

I read recently the original Apollo 11 press release and it mentions that the Saturn V's third stage (used for Trans-Lunar Injection) was deployed into a solar orbit of some kind: (Source: Press ...
2
votes
1answer
131 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Is there a “map” of the interplanetary transport network?

To my understanding, the idea behind the interplanetary transport network is that areas near heavy objects and their Lagrange points are accesible with comparatively little energy, for example one ...
1
vote
1answer
209 views

What equations/constants were used to calculate the Kármán Line for Earth?

I am interested in how the original value of ~100 km was calculated for the Kármán line of earth. What equations and constants would need to be used to reproduce this value? Note: By constants, ...
3
votes
4answers
234 views

Can a huge gravitational force cause visible distortions on an object

In space, would it be possible to have an object generating such a huge gravitational force so it would be possible for an observer (not affected directly by gravitational force and the space time ...
4
votes
5answers
441 views

Does a interstellar spacecraft traveling at relativistic velocity require continous thrust to maintain velocity?

Assuming completely empty space, does a spacecraft traveling at 0.5 C require continuous thrust to avoid deceleration? If the spacecraft is traveling at 0.5 C, does it's relativistic mass act upon ...
7
votes
3answers
838 views

Would a fast inter-stellar spaceship benefit from an aerodynamic shape?

Some (generous) assumptions: We have a spaceship that can reach a reasonable fraction of light speed. The ship is able to withstand the high energies of matter impacting at that speed. Given the ...
3
votes
1answer
206 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
556 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 ...
22
votes
1answer
1k views

Why does it take so long to get to the ISS?

I don't understand why when first launched Space X's Dragon capsule had to orbit the Earth many times in order to match up with the ISS? Was this purely to match it's speed, or to get closer (as in ...
1
vote
2answers
88 views

On constancy of cometary orbits

how are the comets able to keep to a nearly fixed orbital period, though they lose a certain amount of mass during their perihelion?
2
votes
1answer
88 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
403 views

Would a sneeze by a cosmonaut in a spacesuit affect his movement?

Naive question; feel free to shoot me down It is a truism that any motion in space would continue indefinitely unless it is opposed by an external force. If a cosmonaut were to sneeze within his/her ...
1
vote
1answer
98 views

More efficient far-future means of keeping the earth alive? [closed]

In about 7 Billion years our planed will be consumed by the ever-growing sun, life would have become extinct long before that. That means that in several hundred thousand years we have a deadline to ...
0
votes
3answers
1k views

Will a stone thrown in space move forever?

If I throw a stone on space, in a place where gravity is equal zero, will the stone move forward forever, because no air, so no friction?
0
votes
2answers
181 views

Why aren't stratospheric balloons compressing their helium to descent?

I can't find a reference of a working stratospheric balloon mounted with a compressor to control its altitude. Is there a big physical difficulty (such as compressor weight/power ratio, or power ...
9
votes
5answers
5k views

If I take a bottle of air into space, and open it, where does it go?

It seems to me that space doesn't have any/much air, and if my bottle is full of air, when I open it, where does the air go?
0
votes
1answer
163 views

Understanding particle's space travel

Before the discovery of dark matter, the prevailing popular understanding of Space content is that of celestial bodies (planets, stars..etc) floating in 'void' and emitting particles and waves ...
3
votes
0answers
103 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
99 views

Orbits for space missions

I am just wondering say if there is an expedition where some astronauts are sent to the moon, how do they choose the trajectory for the spaceshuttle (or whatnot)? I mean there are many possible ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Can the technology behind Particle accelerators can be used for space propulsion?

As I understand, the kinetic energy of the proton beam in a hadron collider is quite large. Can you build a space propulsion system that is based on accelerating a proton bean to relativistic speeds ...
2
votes
1answer
341 views

Calculating spacecraft water leak flow rate

A large container of heated water is floating in space. How can I calculate leak rate if a small puncture is opened? I'm assuming the water is kept at 298K and in the liquid state inside the chamber. ...
1
vote
3answers
835 views

Long-Life High Altitude Balloon

Normally high-altitude balloon experiments end with the balloon popping and the payload falling back down to be reclaimed. But if a second balloon was attached to the payload, one which was only ...
3
votes
1answer
155 views

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 ...
3
votes
3answers
790 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
397 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
110 views

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 ...
3
votes
3answers
82 views

What's in my box?

Let's say that I have a box which is 100% empty. I fly into the vacuum of space, open the box and close it after a certain time. Then I go back to earth and my question is.. What's in my box? ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Elasticity of Space; How does the expansion of Space affect gravity?

Does space have an elastic quality? What I was thinking about was if space is expanding, is it being 'stretched', like a balloon being blown up, and if so, is this causing gravity to weaken? Imagine ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

Why can't airplanes just keep going up? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why do space crafts take off with rockets instead of just ascending like an aircraft until they reach space? Ignoring that the engines only work in air, so say its a ...
2
votes
1answer
147 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
3k views

How does space affect the human body (no space suit, no space craft)

How does "outer space" affect the human body? Some movies show it as the body exploding, imploding or even freezing solid. I know space is essentially a vacuum with 0 pressure and the dispersion of ...
-1
votes
1answer
2k views

How light years is measured.?

How light years are measured. Once i remember the distance between earth and moon are measured by light which travels and comeback and by the delay the distance is calculated.. But how light years are ...
1
vote
1answer
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
384 views

Why model space with real numbers?

Are there any good papers discussing why we use $\mathbb{R}^{3}$as a model for space? More specifically are there any that explain why we don't use other number systems such as extensions of the real ...
10
votes
1answer
9k views

Why can there be fire in space while there is no oxygen?

The sun is made of fire but fire needs oxygen right? So.. Why can there be flames in space, while there's no oxygen? Same idea as with the rocket engines of the spaceship, which also produce fire ...
12
votes
4answers
308 views

Why are spacecraft made to “spin” after launch?

At some point after launch, usually just before or after separation from the last booster stage, spacecraft are often made to "spin" (about the axis of their trajectory)? See e.g this You Tube video. ...
5
votes
8answers
6k views

Definition of “direction”

Is there an actual definition of "direction" (that is, spatial direction) in physics, or is it just one of those terms that's left undefined? In physics textbooks it's always just taken for granted ...
3
votes
1answer
347 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 ...
12
votes
14answers
2k views

What are the mechanics by which Time Dilation and Length Contraction occur?

What are the mechanics of time dilation and length contraction? Going beyond the mathematical equations involving light and the "speed limit of the universe", what is observed is merely a phenomenon ...
3
votes
1answer
104 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
513 views

How vacuous is intergalactic space?

You often hear intergalactic space is an example for a very good vacuum. But how vacuos is space between galaxy clusters and inside a huge void structure? Are there papers quoting a ...
19
votes
3answers
9k views

How long does it take to travel 36 light years with tolerable acceleration and deceleration?

The recent discovery of HD85512b only 36 light years from Earth has promising attributes to harbor life. Assuming we want to travel there, we cannot instantaneously jump to light speed, (StarTrek ...
0
votes
0answers
106 views

Faster than light communication [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is it possible for information to be transmitted faster than light? Suppose you have a very long rod, both ends are in space and the rod is 100 light years long. If you ...
2
votes
1answer
227 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
171 views

Weightlessness and falling sideways

In Season 2, ep 4 of Star talk Radio, host Neil Tyson is talking about the international space station. He mentions that the space station is in a low earth orbit and is falling along the curvature of ...
10
votes
1answer
330 views

Laptops in space

I was reading an article regarding the Shuttle's GPCs and how they stack up against commercially-made hardware on http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/flyout/flyfeature_shuttlecomputers.html and ...
-8
votes
4answers
7k views

If there is no gravity on the moon why is the american flag waving?

If there is no gravity on the moon, how could this flag be flapping in the wind? http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/2wD6eg/hea-www.harvard.edu/~fine/images/desktops/Armstrong.jpg