History Main / SpaceIsCold

19th Oct '17 11:42:33 PM PaulA
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* "[[Literature/KnownSpace Wait It Out]]" by Creator/LarryNiven has an astronaut trapped on Pluto. He decides to strip naked in vacuum and freeze as fast as possible, hoping to avoid frostbite and be cryogenically preserved for later rescue. Fortunately he is trained to get in and out of his spacesuit quickly, because after he opens the first seal on his helmet, he's made an icicle in under a minute. At night time on Pluto, he becomes so cold that his nervous system [[spoiler:becomes a superconductor. [[AndIMustScream This allows him to think until the sun switches him off.]]]]

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* "[[Literature/KnownSpace Wait It Out]]" "Literature/WaitItOut" by Creator/LarryNiven has an astronaut trapped on Pluto. He decides to strip naked in vacuum and freeze as fast as possible, hoping to avoid frostbite and be cryogenically preserved for later rescue. Fortunately he is trained to get in and out of his spacesuit quickly, because after he opens the first seal on his helmet, he's made an icicle in under a minute. At night time on Pluto, he becomes so cold that his nervous system [[spoiler:becomes a superconductor. [[AndIMustScream This allows him to think until the sun switches him off.]]]]
18th Sep '17 10:37:47 PM sylviaviridian
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Added DiffLines:

* Played with in [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2017-09-19 this]] ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'' strip: the notes take care to remind us that space is not cold, and then offer an explanation for why bodies might rapidly freeze anyway.
8th Sep '17 2:48:39 AM ShorinBJ
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* Convection and conduction is simply touching an object, or liquid, or gas. If that which you touch has a lower temperature than you, your heat flows out of you, leaving you colder.

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* Convection and conduction is simply touching an object, or liquid, or gas. If that which you touch has a lower temperature than you, your heat flows out of you, you and into it, leaving you colder.
13th Aug '17 11:07:09 PM MrMaplesyrup1
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The first reason is that temperature and heat are physical properties of matter. Space is the exact opposite of matter. Space is the absence of all matter. Asking "what is the temperature of space?" is like asking a bald person what their hair color is.[[note]]Technically, space is not completely empty; [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interstellar_medium the interstellar medium can actually reach a density of about one million molecules per cubic centimeter, and even in its least dense areas it still has about 100 ions per cubic meter]], and you can find the temperature of the few atoms present. The Local Interstellar Cloud we're in has an average temperature of around 6000K, comparable to the surface of the sun, but since there are so few atoms (about 0.3 per cubic centimeter), it doesn't really matter. And a bald person may still have body hair.[[/note]] This means you cannot touch space because there is nothing to touch in the first place. This in turn means heat loss by convection or conduction cannot happen in space. (Touching the surface of your spacecraft, however, can be a whole different story). This is how a thermos works, by the way; there is a near-vacuum surrounding the storage space, preventing heat from passing through.

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The first reason is that temperature and heat are physical properties of matter. Space is the exact opposite of matter.matter[[note]]Creator/TerryPratchett would disagree[[/note]]. Space is the absence of all matter. Asking "what is the temperature of space?" is like asking a bald person what their hair color is.[[note]]Technically, space is not completely empty; [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interstellar_medium the interstellar medium can actually reach a density of about one million molecules per cubic centimeter, and even in its least dense areas it still has about 100 ions per cubic meter]], and you can find the temperature of the few atoms present. The Local Interstellar Cloud we're in has an average temperature of around 6000K, comparable to the surface of the sun, but since there are so few atoms (about 0.3 per cubic centimeter), it doesn't really matter. And a bald person may still have body hair.[[/note]] This means you cannot touch space because there is nothing to touch in the first place. This in turn means heat loss by convection or conduction cannot happen in space. (Touching the surface of your spacecraft, however, can be a whole different story). This is how a thermos works, by the way; there is a near-vacuum surrounding the storage space, preventing heat from passing through.
27th Jul '17 8:07:51 PM thatother1dude
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* ''WesternAnimation/TheMagicSchoolBus'': The first episode features the class landing on Pluto, which has an atmosphere that is very cold but also ''extremely'' thin (at most estimated to have 1/350,000 the air pressure of the surface of the Earth), after Janet is stubborn about leaving Arnold forces the issue by removing his helmet, his head instantly freezes.

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* ''WesternAnimation/TheMagicSchoolBus'': The first episode features the class landing on Pluto, which has an atmosphere that is very cold but also ''extremely'' thin (at most estimated to have 1/350,000 the air pressure of the surface of the Earth), after Earth). After Janet is stubborn about leaving Arnold forces the issue by removing his helmet, his head instantly freezes.[[InstantIceJustAddCold is covered in ice]], [[HarmlessFreezing but the only long-term effect is a cold]]. The AndKnowingIsHalfTheBattle segment points out Arnold could not realistically survive, but claim the cold should have effected him even ''more'', instead of pointing out the many other negative effects of exposure to a near vacuum.
9th Jul '17 3:21:00 PM nombretomado
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* Spoofed in the ''FlightOfTheConchords'' song "Bowie", in which they ask if the coldness in space makes your nipples pointy.

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* Spoofed in the ''FlightOfTheConchords'' Music/FlightOfTheConchords song "Bowie", in which they ask if the coldness in space makes your nipples pointy.
30th May '17 6:43:44 PM nombretomado
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* Being a show that usually does the research, ''TheWestWing'' gets it right in the S1 finale "What Kind Of Day Has It Been?" The space shuttle ''Columbia'' is experiencing problems preparing for re-entry, with Toby's brother on board:

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* Being a show that usually does the research, ''TheWestWing'' ''Series/TheWestWing'' gets it right in the S1 finale "What Kind Of Day Has It Been?" The space shuttle ''Columbia'' is experiencing problems preparing for re-entry, with Toby's brother on board:
22nd May '17 7:19:16 PM PaulA
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* In Joe Haldeman's ''ForeverWar'', it is also carefully averted: The PoweredArmor used by the military on frigid planets around dead stars actually requires radiators to boil away the heat and keeping most of the suit's outside cool enough not to boil the solid hydrogen or methane they are standing on; If a radiator malfunctions, the human inside runs risk of dying of the ''heat'' in the vacuum of space.

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* In Joe Haldeman's ''ForeverWar'', ''Literature/TheForeverWar'', it is also carefully averted: The PoweredArmor used by the military on frigid planets around dead stars actually requires radiators to boil away the heat and keeping most of the suit's outside cool enough not to boil the solid hydrogen or methane they are standing on; If a radiator malfunctions, the human inside runs risk of dying of the ''heat'' in the vacuum of space.
23rd Apr '17 4:23:27 PM nombretomado
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* Averted in both ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}'' in general and TranshumanSpace in particular. The books go out of the way to remind that space ''itself'' is neither hot nor cold.

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* Averted in both ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}'' in general and TranshumanSpace ''TabletopGame/TranshumanSpace'' in particular. The books go out of the way to remind that space ''itself'' is neither hot nor cold.
23rd Apr '17 10:24:34 AM nombretomado
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* The intro to ''SwordOfTheStars II: Lords of Winter'' shows a [[EldritchAbomination Suul'ka]] teleporting into space from an ocean, appearing to be encased in a shell of water which has flash-frozen in space. The Suul'ka then breaks the icy shell, signifying its "birth".

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* The intro to ''SwordOfTheStars ''VideoGame/SwordOfTheStars II: Lords of Winter'' shows a [[EldritchAbomination Suul'ka]] teleporting into space from an ocean, appearing to be encased in a shell of water which has flash-frozen in space. The Suul'ka then breaks the icy shell, signifying its "birth".
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