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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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 ...
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1answer
368 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. ...
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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 ...
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1answer
163 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 ...
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3answers
982 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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1answer
468 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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2answers
140 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 ...
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3answers
91 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? ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
158 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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2answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
427 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 ...
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1answer
12k 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 ...
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398 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. ...
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8answers
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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 ...
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1answer
435 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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15answers
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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 ...
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1answer
113 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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1answer
698 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 ...
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3answers
10k 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 ...
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0answers
112 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 ...
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1answer
232 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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2answers
181 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 ...
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1answer
372 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 ...
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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? (see link) http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/2wD6eg/hea-www.harvard.edu/~fine/images/desktops/Armstrong.jpg
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3answers
926 views

Can black holes actually merge?

If time stops at the event horizon, can we ever detect two black holes merging? In other words, if you are a short distance away, would you encounter a spherically symmetric gravitational field, or a ...
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2answers
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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4answers
310 views

Direct exposure to the vacuum of space

I was watching a few sci-fi movies and was wondering the real science explaining what would happen if you were to be subject to the conditions of outerspace. I read the wikipedia article on space ...
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2answers
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What does the sky look like to human eyes from orbit?

There are numerous pictures, obviously, of the blackness of space from the shuttle, the space station, and even the moon. But they all suffer from being from the perspective of a camera, which is not ...
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3answers
480 views

How would steel degrade in space

If there is a steel plate floating in space, for ever, within the solar system, how is it going to degrade? Of course without oxygen it is not going to oxidize (rust), but how are cosmic rays, UV ...
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1answer
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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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631 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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1answer
278 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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1answer
195 views

The most stable metal for radioactive environment

Could you suggest which metal/alloy shows the least activation & better long-term stability for space (LEO, inside Van allen belts, deep space) applications? Or stability of construction ...
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2answers
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Escape Velocity of Asteriod 243 Ida

I was reading about this asteroid (apparently, it has a moon, isn't that awesome?) and I started thinking about if I was on this asteroid, and I jumped, would I fall off? It's been a while since I ...
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2answers
552 views

what about there is no time, only space [closed]

what about a theory where no time exists, only discrete space, steady states and occasion chains. what would speak against this? ;-)
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1answer
877 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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3answers
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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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2answers
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“Artificial gravity” on a rotating space stations

There have been a lot of sci-fi shows recently using the "rotating space station" explanation for gravity on space stations. After watching these videos: ...
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7answers
3k views

What properties do you need for building a tower?

When I was a boy I used to daydream about building a tower so tall that the top of it would stick out of the top of Earth's atmosphere project into near space. There would perhaps be a zero gravity ...
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3answers
693 views

Will a machine or a technique ever be possible that allows artificial gravity in interplanetary space?

Will a machine or a technique ever be possible that allows artificial gravity in interplanetary space? And I ask out of pure curiosity. I know there is the "Vomit Comet" that allows for a non-gravity ...
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3answers
111 views

Is there a chance for Earth to have an additional satellite someday?

I am just an space enthusiast and not a physics professional so pardon me if this is not the right place to ask. As title says, is there a chance for our Earth to have additional satellite(s) like our ...
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1answer
380 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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6answers
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Does vacuum (empty space) exist? [closed]

Added: 5 times down vote for now! Down voter is this religion or physics, please try to explain your decision. I'm confused about this. In physics we know for a vacuum, but I think that there is a ...
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3answers
211 views

Object docking in Space

How do objects dock in space? There's a recent piece of news that Keppler would dock to the ISS sometime this week. I want to know the operational aspects of it - considering the velocity of the ...
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3answers
371 views

How does solar activity affect the ISS?

Currently the sun is launching some intense solar flares. http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/feb/17/solar-flares-northern-lights-uk Th article I've linked also mentions how a "coronal mass ...
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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 ...