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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15answers
3k 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 ...
7
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2answers
1k views

What's the difference between space and time?

I'm having a hard time understanding how changing space means changing time. In books I've read people are saying "space and time" or "space-time" but never explain what the difference is between the ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

What would ACTUALLY happen to a person jettisoned into space?

[insert obligatory statement of my lack of knowledge in physics] Alright, so we have all seen the movies where someone gets blasted out of the airlock on their starship, or their suit decompresses ...
8
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3answers
1k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
699 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 ...
9
votes
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 ...
6
votes
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 ...
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 ...
69
votes
7answers
8k 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 ...
10
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6answers
3k views

Does anything exist in the intergalactic space?

I am a part time physics enthusiast and I seldom wonder about the intergalactic space. First, it is my perception that all(almost all) the objects in the universe are organized in the forms of ...
4
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2answers
2k views

“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: ...
2
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5answers
561 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 ...
20
votes
2answers
6k views

What is the possibility of a railgun assisted orbital launch?

Basic facts: The world's deepest mine is 2.4 miles deep. Railguns can acheive a muzzle velocity of a projectile on the order of 7.5 km/s. The Earth's escape velocity is 11.2 km/s. It seems to me ...
1
vote
6answers
6k views

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 ...
5
votes
3answers
890 views

An electromagnetic space elevator?

If you surround the equator with a continuous Niobium Tin superconductor ring, and ran somewhere near but less than the maximum current density through, the magnetic field of the Earth would support ...
4
votes
2answers
402 views

Sum total distance of electrons on a spherical surface

What is the sum total distance between every possible pair of point charges when there are n point charges on a spherical surface? All point charges can only and are located on the infinitesimal ...
1
vote
5answers
2k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

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.
21
votes
1answer
573 views

How do we know that these radio bursts are from billions of light-years away?

NASA just announced that they detected the first radio bursts from outside of our galaxy. Astronomers, including a team member from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., have ...
7
votes
1answer
353 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 ...
8
votes
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
477 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 ...
2
votes
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 ...
-2
votes
1answer
141 views

Rigid Body Mechanics In a vacuum (no gravity) [closed]

I am writing a physics engine to map the rotary and translatory movements of a uniformly dense solid cylinder within 3d space. If a vectored thrust is applied to one end of the cylinder at an ...
13
votes
3answers
343 views

Why were space physicists wrong about the location of the heliopause?

The heliopause is now estimated to be something around 100 AU (1 AU = Astronomical unit = about the earth sun distance). See the wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heliosphere From ...
9
votes
5answers
2k 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. ...
4
votes
1answer
562 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?
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Why did the Earth cool down?

In physics text books, it has only stated that Earth cooled down and so, water vapour condense and other life form develop and et cetera. But, why did Earth cooled down in the first place? What caused ...
19
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7answers
2k 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 ...
19
votes
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 ...
2
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3answers
3k views

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 ...
5
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
10
votes
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 ...
9
votes
5answers
7k 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?
6
votes
5answers
7k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
982 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

How do they produce air on the ISS?

How do they provide air on the ISS? I know it is produced by electrolysis but is that all they breathe, hydrogen and oxygen? The air here on Earth contains other things like nitrogen. Do the people ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
439 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
228 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 ...
3
votes
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
258 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, ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
125 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, ...
4
votes
5answers
508 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 ...
4
votes
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
194 views

Is time the rate at which one moves through space

I'll start out with the cliche attempt in a protective shield of my dignity. I am a young highschool kid just eager to learn and understand. If I'm way off or this is already a known idea, or maybe ...
3
votes
2answers
267 views

Do black holes accelerate in spin as they obtain more mass?

It is known that - When a star collapses during the formation of the black hole, the black hole obtains the spin of the star which it collapsed from... What I'd like to know is, If this spin ...
3
votes
3answers
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?