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 ...
Yeah, duh, the sun is a reflection.
“Imagine you’re floating freely in the vacuum between galaxies just you, your gun and a single bullet.”
I’m guessing I would also have a suit with some oxygen? Then I’d enjoy the view until my tank got low and point the gun in the opposite direction of the cosmos.
If I didn’t have a suit and tank... well, this is just silly then!
As sound does not propogate in space the ATF would promptly arrest you for having a suppressor.
If you are in space, but in some type of orbit and fire the gun in a tangential direction to your orbit, you will go to a higher orbit.
Why would you shoot a gun?
Shoot a space alien instead.
Not in the Il galaxy.
Can’t get a gun aboard a rocket or a shuttle. Those creepy people at the body scanners and screeners would find it for sure.
I'd rather carry open, unzipping your jacket to get to your piece might be problematic.
The Thompson was the favorite gun of the Star Treks.
But the physics involved does point to one of my major pet peeves in movies- someone getting hit by a bullet or shotgun blast and flying 10 feet backwards. it is flat out impossible for the projectile to strike the target with more kinetic energy than it delivers to the shooter; thus if it would filing ME backwards 10 feet it won’t do so to a similar sized person I hit.
Now the physics of a gunfight on a small, low gravity planet or planetoid would be very interesting.
I kinda like that revolver that Hellboy carries.
Well, if your gun/rifle is on your shoulder when you pull the trigger then you probably wouldn't have time to see Bugs Bunny cause it would put you into a spin without end.
Of course that wouldn't be true if you are in a 'No Spin Zone'.
I think the soviets already fired a machine gun in space on one
of their early space stations causing lots of damage
to the station with the recoil.