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 ...
I decided to do the math before posting: a .38 bullet has a base area of 0.108 square inches. Atmospheric pressure inside the case would be 14.7psi, so the bullet would experience 1.6 pounds of unseating pressure, which shouldn't be an issue with factory rounds.
I would expect a better analysis from a University astronomer. An expanding sphere? Hardly. The gases and smoke particles produced by the combustion in the weapon are going to expand down the barrel. In so doing they are going to accelerate to a pretty good velocity. (eg. rifles typically a couple thousand fps) upon exiting the barrel there is no atmosphere to slow the gases. The only significant force acting on them is their own molecules pushing on each other. So they will begin to push apart and expand, while still retaining their significant velocity. The resulting smoke trail should resemble a large cone, not a sphere.
Might make it hard to do the test if the condition of space itself isn’t conducive to life.
The bullet will meet the centrifical force of the opposing atmospheric space minus all gravity divided by three with equal maass of the bloated brains of many scientists who think they know so much! Ha!
There certainly is a guarantee that the laws of physics hold everywhere. Ask any astronomer.
If John Browning was still around, he would figure out how to make it work and work every time.
Without Nathan Fillion, it wouldn’t be the same.
Its OK because I like cheese.
“In space, no one can hear you shoot.
You can in the Hollywood part of space.”
Do you ever have to reload in space, or can you just keep banging away like they do in Hollywood?
If a man shoots a gun in space and no woman hears it, will he still be wrong?
If physics differed based on spatial location, the materials would behave differently. It's not like you carry a little bit of spatial immunity around!
Besides, the UNIVERSE stands for
my question would be this...
If you fire a 45 in space... the bullet takes off and travels at it’s rated ballistic speed forever. How fast will you travel the opposite way??
Believe it or not, this is a question that I've pondered before.
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.
Holy Black Hole Laz-Man! With that response, I'm guessing you have been hitting the (great?) granddaughters of Einstein and Blanc at the same time.
Something I have wondered for a long time is this:
Does God work through the laws of physics or can he change them at will?
Not conclusive that they do, but evidence that they COULD.
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