The Physics
An encyclopedia of scientific essays

Pressure in Outer Space

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Bibliographic Entry Result
(w/surrounding text)
Halliday, David. Fundementals of Physics 6th Edition, New York: Wiley. 2001.
Atmosphere At Sea Level Density At Sea Level Density of Interstellar Space
1.5 × 105 1.024 × 103 10−20
1.46 × 10−18 Pa
LEGO Design and Programming System, NASA, Physics Concepts. "Pressure can result from molecules of air (or water) hitting you - there is no pressure in outer space where there are no molecules." 0 Pa
Adapted from: P. Atkins and L. Jones. Chemistry. Molecules, Matter and Change, 3rdEd. W.H. Freeman, New York, 1997, Mass Spectrometry. "In comparison the pressure in outer space may be in the order of 10^-12 Torr" 1.33 × 10−11 Pa
Pressure. The Atomic "Wiggle Wiggle" Dance. "Absolute pressure is based on the pressure of outer space being equal to zero." 0 Pa

Pressure is everywhere. The earth's atmosphere exerts pressure on us right now. Although the pressure at an point of earth's surface is the equal. This is true if you are at the same altitude on the earth as someone else. Pressure always acts perpendicular to the surface.

Outer space is a very hostile place. Because of the very low pressure in outer space humans have to be trapped in a spacesuit in fear of the boiling of their bodily liquids. The fluids would not be able to evaporate entirely primarily because of the rapid loss of heat energy. There is no place like home, where the average pressure is 101,321 pascal (Pa). The formula P = F/A is used to find pressure.

In outer space one would also face extreme changes in temperature. The temperature in the sunlight is 120 °C, which is higher than the boiling point of water. In the shade the temperature is about -100 °C, way below the freezing point of water. The body tissue (skin, heart, other internal organs) would expand because of the boiling fluids. However, they would not "explode"as depicted in some science fiction movies, such as "Total Recall". Death would occur within one minute.

The pressure in outer space is so low that many consider it as non-existant. It has a pressure of 1.322 × 10−11 Pa. Pressure may be detected from the molecule of air or water hitting you. Since there is very little air and hardly ever water hitting you in space, pressure is almost zero or negligible.

Mimi Zheng -- 2002

Bibliographic Entry Result
(w/surrounding text)
Space Weather Now. Space Environment Center (SEC). National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). 2003 Oct 25 1233 UTC. 3.0 × 10−9 Pa
Explanation of Solar Wind Dials. Space Environment Center (SEC). National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). 2003 Oct 25 1233 UTC.
Speed, v : 615 km s-1
Temperature, T : 5.4e+05 k
Density, n : 4.7 particles cm-3
Pressure, P : 3.0 nPa

Editor's Supplement -- 2003