what happens if you shoot a gun in space? What happens to the bullet & what happens to you if you shoot a gun in space? Shall you die? These are very interesting questions because a person fires a gun in space feels some weird and unnatural events compared to our Earth.
The Physics laws we have to know to understand the answer:
- Newton’s 1st law-In the absence of any external force a still(motionless) object will be still & a moving object will be moving following a straight line.
- Newton’s 3rd law– Every action has an equal(modulation of the applied force) and opposite(direction of the applied force)reaction force.
- Friction-Friction is the resistance to motion of one object moving relative to another.
- A sound wave can not move through a vacuum medium.
- A satellite revolves around any planet in its orbit that needs a perfect centripetal force to keep it moving.
So before you know what happens if you shoot a gun in space, at first let’s know what happenes if we fire a gun on the earth?
We will here a very loud noise:
just after clicking the trigger, we hear a sound created for the mechanism inside the gun, and obviously, some frictional mechanical energy is transformed into sound energy so the sound is very very loud if we don’t use any additional sound compressor tool like a silencer. Here we can hear the sound because there is enough medium in our Earth’s atmosphere to help the sound waves to propagate.
We have go back:
according to Newton’s third law, we will get a backward reaction force by the gun as soon as we fire. The gun recoils into your soldier, i.e. goes back in proportion to its mass, and the bullet moves forward for its exploding gun powder, but as normally we do the standing on the Earth’s surface the frictional force with the ground and with the air in the atmosphere of the earth stop us from going back a very long distance.
Now let’s look at these events in the case of space:
Can you hear the firing sound in space?
The answer may be yes or no. Normally, you can not hear any sound, but it will be possible to hear the sound under only a certain condition, a special case. Stay tuned, will be discussed later.
we will know that there is not any medium with what is sound wave can propagate and we also know that the sound cannot propagate through empty space or vacuum so simply we cannot hear any type of sound. Though normally space is considered as empty. but, that is not true, there are many complex matters and antimatters. In short, which can be called space matters.
What will happen to the bullet in space?
1. Bullet can be lost in space:
if your shot bullet has enough force and you shoot to the outgoing direction perpendicular to the earth’s surface the bullet will travel almost infinite distance. In the case of earth, the bullet would stop up to 1.3 km but as the density of space matter is almost equal to 1 Hydrogen atom in a 10-meter square area, there is almost no force to stop the bullet. It would be a different story if the bullet goes to any space elements (stars, planets, etc.) or falls under any. Maintaining Newton’s 1st law the bullet will travel at 1km per second avoiding stars’, planets’ gravitational force.
2. Bullet can fall on any star’s or planet’s or moon’s surface:
If you shoot the bullet direct to any stars or planet and if the bullet has enough force and velocity, it will directly fall and collide on any surface. If there is an animal on any planet or moon the animal will be injured, possibly may die.
Note: there is a chance that due to the gravitational force of the planet and friction with the atmosphere of the planet the bullet can be destroyed many times.
3. Turns into a artificial satellite:
if you shoot the bullet to any random direction, if it imposes such amount of force, that it neither can leave a star’s nor planet’s gravitational force nor can fall on its surface, i.e. it creates its own orbit around this star or planet and revolves it, ie. becomes an artificial satellite. In short, if it gains its enough Centripetal force to keep itself moving. How many times does it revolve? ok, as it becomes an artificial satellite, normally it will revolve for that time, the mass of it decreases or anything else collides it.
What happens to you? Do you die in space?
There are 3 possible ways, you may die in. First of all, you should double-check you are bound with the station before attempt to fire. In spite of being bound, you can die in a special case. Stay tuned, this very interesting thing is going to be discussed later.
However your all death cases related to Newton’s 3rd law.
1. You can lost in space and die:
As mentioned above, we will get a backward reaction force by the total mass of gun & bullet, and it was also mentioned that standing on earth’s surface we can’t feel that force so much because of friction of the ground we stand on & the atmospheric frictional force. But in space, those two frictional forces don’t exist. So, as soon as you will fire, you will start to go backward, and if there is nothing to collide with you or nothing attract you, you will be going infinite. Yes, you will travel an infinite distance. But, unluckily, you will not live for that much time.
If you want to know, Shall I be able to leave the Milkyway galaxy? The answer is Definitely not. As mentioned above the universe is expanding continuously at a speed of 73Km/second, and there is nothing weapon still de by humans that can fire a bullet with the speed that can beat this Hubble constant. So, clearly, a bullet with smaller mass and greater acceleration can not escape the Milkyway, then there should not be a question arises about the leaving the Milkyway by you with a greater mass and less acceleration. You will die before escaping the Milkyway gala
2. You can be attracted by any stars’ or planets’ gravity and falls on it:
If you fire the bullet in the outgoing direction from any star or planet, you will be attracted by its gravity and will start to fall on its surface. but unfortunately, after entering its atmosphere you will be burned by the strong atmospheric pressure and interaction with the particles. In short, you will die.
3. You can Die by your created artificial bullet satellite:
I discussed above how, under which condition your fired bullet can turn to an artificial satellite. Now, suppose you are in the orbit of this satellite and after completing around the bullet just hit you. The same condition creates when you shoot standing on a peak on the moon- proposed by…
This is the special case when we can answer the question “can you hear the sound of your fire?” Yes, In such cases the answer will be “Yes”. But, how? how can a sound wave travel in a vacuum space? In space, the sound wave travels with the bullet itself. But, you can hear this sound after hit by the bullet. So, if you stay alive, you may hear the sound