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What does outer space smell like?

Discussion in 'Scientific Matters' started by Reikiangel, Oct 16, 2008.

  1. Reikiangel

    Reikiangel New Member

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  2. feelinghealthy

    feelinghealthy New Member

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    lol

    That is a question that I have never think of it. I guessed that outer space hasn't any smell but I was wrong.

    :D Astronauts must be hungry :024:
     
  3. Energylz

    Energylz Moody-rator ©
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    Hmm, I get the feeling it's not being reported clearly by journalists.

    Smell relies on different particles hitting the receptors in our nose (and coming down the back of our nasal passages to our taste receptors in our mouth too).

    Space is pretty much a vacuum, so there aren't really any particles apart from mineral dust form asteroids and the rubbish that has been discarded by space missions.

    Reading the article it says that the astronauts notice the smell when they come inside and de-suit. This would suggest that they have been stuck inside their suit breathing clean air-cylinder air (of whatever mix they provide them with) which will have no real smell to it whatsoever, and therefore when they come to de-suit they will be very receptive to any small smells. Considering they're in a big metal spaceship it's hardly suprising that they can smell metal. As for the steak... body odour perhaps from the confined space and number of people?

    All Love and Reiki Hugs
     
  4. pure-ki

    pure-ki New Member

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    What a great topic Reikiangel!
    I'm fascinated by all things outerspace, so I got pretty excited when I saw this!

    I don't fully understand how our senses of smell work or how atmospherics are controlled on board space ships, but I think you have a point Energylz. When I read the article I though it a little contradictory that the astronauts were smelling the smell once they had removed their space suits and were back in the spacecraft (or did I read that incorrectly?).
    What went through my mind was the smell you get inside an aeroplane, which is constantly recycled and does actually smell a little like a cross between steak of metal!

    Besides, I somehow would want space to have an awesome and transcendent smell, 'like nothing on this earth'!:)
     
  5. Venetian

    Venetian New Member

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    As Giles says, space is ... er, space. For all practical purposes, there's nothing we call matter in it. Nothing there = no smells, and if there were a smell which astronauts could detect from inside their suits, they'd have a milli-second left to live! (Punctured suit.)

    V
     
  6. pure-ki

    pure-ki New Member

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    Yep and there ain't no open windows onboard a space ship:)
    Mr Venetian, I can tell you are not going to let me have my space smell fantasy!;) I guess a space with no atmosphere is not going to have my dream aroma! Lol:)

    On a serious note, I thought there was alot of debris floating around in space, or would this space junk not smell like regular garbage without the atmosphere?
     
  7. Energylz

    Energylz Moody-rator ©
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    Although there may be space debris, particles of it would have to travel through space and get to the astronauts nostrils. Ok, so, in the vastness of space, even if you just take the (geometric) plane of flight around the earth that the space craft is flying, the surface area of that plane is far greater than the surface of the earth, and the amount of debris deposited in that plane is zillions of times less than the debris left on the earths surface. The chances of sufficient particles from space debris being on a spacemans suit and then him smelling it once he removes his suit inside the spacecraft, uninterfered with by the smell of the craft itself, is uncountably unlikely. It would be like smelling an Australian gnats fart from the UK. :D

    All Love and Reiki Hugs
     
  8. simpo

    simpo New Member

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    Interesting topic. I have always thought that outer space is a complete vacuum.
     
  9. Fadette

    Fadette New Member

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    Surely I cant be the one person on this forum to have heard on the odd tv documentary or read in astronomy magazines that space isnt "void" or a vaccuum as we used to think, but is Dark Matter.
    very full space indeed. anyone can comment on that? I thought you lots were way far more informed than me (Im just watching national geographic tv docs on Sundays! ehehm.:dft001:).

    (by the way that would tie in with the Ayurvedic wisdom that the 5th element other than Water Fire Earth and Air, is "space" and is as real as the other ones)

    but this question of a smell is really exciting! even if it comes out that it s their fetid body or spacecraft smell. maybe it s the reaction/friction of "space" agaisnt their suit or craft...

    I once saw that bit of news that planets make music. each has its own sound. they recorded one planet (cant remember the name, looked like Saturn) and it was like techno music (and you thougth like me that those ravers were unspiritual idiots, didnt you?), a vibration on top of another high pitch sound going higher and higher into an ear piercing blast. I remember the astronomers drumming their nails on their desks, being all excited, bless them.
     
    #9 Fadette, Jan 24, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 24, 2010
  10. Energylz

    Energylz Moody-rator ©
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    My understanding of dark matter is that it relates to sub-atomic particles coming into existence and out of existence at any point of space-time. However, sub atomic particles in their own right do not consitute molecules of elemental matter, which would be required for the astronauts to smell them. To do that the sub-atomic particles would have to combine in substantial quantities of the same element to create molecules and thus be sufficient to be recognised by smell. Statistically the chances of sufficient molecules being instantaneously created for long enough in the correct space time, to be smelled by astronouts are infinitesimally small. The chances of that happening more than once is nigh on impossible.

    All Love and Reiki Hugs

    (not just watching national geographic ;) )
     
  11. lemonelemi

    lemonelemi New Member

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    Apparently, you dont freeze to death in the vacuum of space. You suffocate. That would take more than millisecond, methinks
     
  12. Energylz

    Energylz Moody-rator ©
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    I don't think it was the temperature the Venetian was talking about. I think it's the fact that if you had a punctured space suite the differential between the pressure inside the suit and outside the suit would rip the suit and the person to pieces very quickly. Not a pleasent image, but one that would be fairly quick apparently.

    All Love and Reiki Hugs
     
  13. scommstech

    scommstech Active Member

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    How do radio waves cross dark matter.
     
  14. lemonelemi

    lemonelemi New Member

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    You don't explode in a vacuum. It's a myth. You would freeze, eventually, but you suffocate first.

    http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/ask_astro/answers/970603.html
     
    #14 lemonelemi, Jan 26, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 26, 2010
  15. Tigerlily

    Tigerlily Member

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    I'm sorry, I'm just caught up with the idea of planets playing techno style music! How amazing! I'd love it if they did 70s disco funk as well!

    I'm my imagination, space smells eggy. Don't know what that says about me. Got nothing intelligent to add!
     
  16. Fadette

    Fadette New Member

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    ahahah! that's the kind of discussion I like, Tigger!

    nobody knows what the universe IS. nobody understand life and even less death. noone gets dreams.

    So I understand one thing: it is up to us, individuals - not the Great Scientists (and neither the rest of "us" who benefit from 0.03% of those scientists' knowledge by reading 2 books and sometimes American Scientist) - to imagine the bigger picture. I really feel only a creative mind, or intuition can get nearer what's actually there.
     
  17. Venetian

    Venetian New Member

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    It's a moot point, and I've never tried it so can't talk from experience. :eek: You are right in that with no air suffocation would be quick. I really don't know, but thought the temperature might be so cold as to kill one even more quickly. Anyway, let's navigate away from morbidity! ;) ...

    Fadette wrote:

    Yes, the Fifth Element, named differently in different traditions, is (from Hinduism etc.) Akasha. Very briefly, Akasha is believed to be the moving and active force above and beyond all other forms of matter-energy. I suspect that Akasha relates to or is synonymous to Dark Matter, but am not certain. Anyway, it's an entirely different kind of science to modern science as practised in the developed world so far today, so the link will take a long time to make. In other words, though I have no doubt that Akasha exists, science per se doesn't yet even know of it.

    Venetian
     
    #17 Venetian, Mar 8, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 9, 2010
  18. Fadette

    Fadette New Member

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    Hello Venetian!!!!

    Im happy to see you back on the forum, I personally felt things were getting a bit boring without your knowledge and wit. no offense to all fellow hp members! :eek:

    Well I watched yet another tv science Documentary the other day and it was way spookier than anything Ive heard before.

    It was about the "big bang" (I know, the idea of a big bang is hotly debated these days) and that the snow on a tv when there is no channel IS the big bang in progress if I dare say. It is the energy of the explosion we are witnessing.
    Even spookier was the MATTER and ANTI MATTER particles theory. At the very beginning when there wasnt a universe nor time nor space, and when the condensation was at its maximum and something huge exploded (in which we exist right now for it is still in its exploding stage if I understood well), in the first second everything came into place: gravity, energy, matter and anti-matter...
    they said physicists have discovered every aspect of the original big bang (thanks to Einsten mostly) but there is one thing that puzzle scientists, it is the anti matter particles. Apparently they were as many matter particles as anti matter ones and they had some kind of "fight" (I really saw that on TV, Im not writing from a mental hospital, I feel like adding :) ) where the matter particles won.
    I remember mostly one physicist saying how had the anti matter particles won, the word today (or we should say Big Bang + 1 second = planets including the earth) would basically be the same as the one now with people sitting at cafes and you and me except they wouldnt be matter and solid. ....Jesus.
    Like a reflection. or like what artists call "negative space"..? sometimes when I sit in the public transport I wonder if all the space between people and things isnt actually the real world, or the other world.

    Also in the US (and I believe in south France) where they have a massive accelerator to smash atoms into completely broken down particles they have for the first time managed to create a mini big bang and found....the anti matter missing - thanks god, didnt fancy mad scientists playing god and creating a black hole or another planet right in south France - and more importantly, the whole mix wasnt what they were sure of getting: GAS, as they thought the beginning of the universe was, but a "soup", with liquid mechanics to it, very fluid.

    OK, sorry for going off topic again about space and smell...I guess it d be impossible to breathe and smell space as we need water to have the smell atoms reaching the brain.
     
    #18 Fadette, Mar 11, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 11, 2010
  19. Venetian

    Venetian New Member

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    Hi Fadette,

    Are you talking about the BBC2 documentary, "Is Everything We Knew About The Universe Wrong?" It's still there on BBC2 i-player for anybody interested.

    I fell asleep more than once during it - not because it was at all boring, but I was tired. So my recollection is partial and garbled. In short, I picked up that the whole universe of stars and galaxies is not behaving in movement the way all scientific beliefs up to now predicted. Some of our universe is indeed expanding, but other parts are shooting off to gawd knows where as though being sucked.

    In one of my waking stages I think I picked up on the main thesis? That there are untold universes, ours being only one, and matter is continually being "sucked" from this one into that one, that one into this one. So I take it the so-called Big Bang may have been "just" matter-energy coming in from another pre-existing universe?

    BTW the pretty so-far useless new European accelerator has just been taken out of service again for a whole year, for repairs!

    V
     
  20. meta

    meta New Member

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    If smell depends on particles, then how do we smell in dreams.???
    Meta
     

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