Skip to comments.What Would Happen If You Shot a Gun In Space?
Posted on 02/25/2012 3:43:56 PM PST by U-238
Fires can't burn in the oxygen-free vacuum of space, but guns can shoot. Modern ammunition contains its own oxidizer, a chemical that will trigger the explosion of gunpowder, and thus the firing of a bullet, wherever you are in the universe. No atmospheric oxygen required.
The only difference between pulling the trigger on Earth and in space is the shape of the resulting smoke trail. In space, "it would be an expanding sphere of smoke from the tip of the barrel," said Peter Schultz an astronomer at Brown University who researches impact craters.
The possibility of gunfire in space allows for all kinds of absurd scenarios.
Imagine you're floating freely in the vacuum between galaxies just you, your gun and a single bullet. You have two options. You either can spend all of eternity trying to figure out how you got there, or you can shoot the damn cosmos.
If you do the latter, Newton's third law dictates that the force exerted on the bullet will impart an equal and opposite force on the gun, and, because you're holding the gun, you. With very few intergalactic atoms against which to brace yourself, you'll start moving backward (not that youd have any way of knowing). If the bullet leaves the gun barrel at 1,000 meters per second, you because you're much more massive than it is will head the other way at only a few centimeters per second.
Once shot, the bullet will keep going, quite literally, forever. "The bullet will never stop, because the universe is expanding faster than the bullet can catch up with any serious amount of mass" to slow it down, said Matija Cuk, an astronomer with joint appointments at Harvard University and the SETI Institute.
(Excerpt) Read more at lifeslittlemysteries.com ...
The libs would try to confiscate it.
This is a no brainer. If you shot a gun in space, you would rip a whole in the space time continuum and we would cease to exist. DUH!
BIG assumption. There is no guarentee that phsyics, and thusly chemistry, is a constant everywhere in the universe. All I'd need to do is adjust the Planck Constant just a bit, and the results might be that upon pulling the trigger, Bugs Bunny would peek out the barrel with a little BANG flag, kiss you on the nose, then dive back into the barrel.
Much hilarity ensues.
My head hurts.
Well, the outer space bullet will “stop” if the bullet does hit something, and even gas clouds could slow it way down.
Nobody will hear the gun going bang in outer space, however.
I sure am glad they cleared that all up finally.
I would think that the gun (and trigger puller would ) would be propelled in the opposite direction forever unless attracted by a nearby by celestial body...the irony is that we would be more attracted to the more massive bodies, as counter-intuitive as that might seem.
I miss Firefly.
In space, no one can hear you shoot.
I knew NASA would attempt to convince us of something ridiculous like this since they staged that space flight 50 years ago and claimed that the earth was round.
What will they try next???
Holy crap! Can you point me to that article????!?
I wonder about that, will guns really fire at any temperature? If your ammo's trending down toward absolute zero, will it start to fail on you?
You can in the Hollywood part of space.
Are you allowed to carry concealed in space?
Actually, I believe a bullet would be one of the slowest
Particles in space anyway and the nearest gravity well would suck it in.
In fact I don't think it would even pass the moon before the Earths gravity would pull it back down.
Apollo TLI velocities were faster than a bullet from a gun.
Or you screaming, if it bites you :-)