What happens to air in space after evacuates from a space craft?

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When air evacuates from a space craft, what happens to the air/oxygen?
It doesn’t disappear to nothing right? Would it be like a air bubble in water?

In: Planetary Science

9 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

it doesnt just vanish, but it does spread out. There is no pressure holding it together, so it just spreads as large as it wants. This makes it effectively vanish.

Anonymous 0 Comments

It’s like a water drop in the ocean. If you were to dye a drop of water black and drop it into the Atlantic, it wouldn’t disappear, that’s not how matter works; it would just dissipate until it wasn’t visible anymore

Anonymous 0 Comments

On the earth’s surface, air particles are travelling at an average speed of 500 metres per second (1100 miles per hour). But there are so many particles that they only travel about 66 nm (0.0026 thousandths of an inch) before they hit another particle and bounce off in some other direction. It’s all these tiny particles that give rise to the forces of atmospheric pressure.

But in the vacuum of space, there’s nothing for the particles to hit, so all the air scatters off at 1100 miles per hour in every direction. That’s a pretty good imitation of disappearing to nothing.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Sure, kind of like a bubble. Just a bubble that is infinitely expanding and getting less and less dense.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Depends where, if the air is evacuated in orbit then the air molecules will probably end up falling back into the atmosphere, if the air is evacuated in deep space the air molecules will just travel off into space in a straight line away from the spacecraft.

Edit just to add them won’t all go off in the same direction they’ll all be flying off on random directions.

Anonymous 0 Comments

it’s the opposite of a bubble in water. it’s more like water in air, clouds in the sky. it would eventually fall back into the atmosphere. the molecules are affected by gravity.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Depends on where the craft is. If it is in low earth orbit, then the air will start out in orbit, similar orbit to the craft it leaked from, and the molecules will soon thereafter interact with other air molecules, slowing down and being pulled back into earth’s atmosphere.

In deeper space, it will just spread out and be caught up in the solar wind and pushed into the outer solar system, or even out into interstellar space and make up part of the low density interstellar medium.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Take a pinch of cinnamon powder and blow really hard on it. The cinnamon doesn’t disappear into nothing but you will no longer see it anywhere because it dispersed so much. That’s what would happen to the air in space (or in a vacuum canister here on earth for that matter).

Anonymous 0 Comments

Imagine a cup of water as your spaceship full of air. Now pour it out on a flat surface. The water will spread out until it is fairly evenly spread out. Same for the air in space, but in 3d, and it will spread out even more as it won’t have surface tension trying to keep it together.