Does a nuclear explosion in outer space generate space waste at all?


by petergreat
Tags: explosion, generate, nuclear, outer, space, waste
petergreat
petergreat is offline
#1
Sep10-10, 11:59 AM
P: 270
Since all the auxiliary parts of the bomb are instantly vaporized, there may be little solid waste left. However, if the vapor does not expand fast enough, or cools quickly, liquids and solids may nucleate again and cause a problem. Another point is that any waste exceeding the escape velocity of Earth will disappear quickly. So what will exactly happen? Is it safe to detonate a nuclear bomb in outer space without jeopardizing the space industry?
Phys.Org News Partner Physics news on Phys.org
Physicists consider implications of recent revelations about the universe's first light
Vacuum ultraviolet lamp of the future created in Japan
Grasp of SQUIDs dynamics facilitates eavesdropping
Bob S
Bob S is offline
#2
Sep10-10, 12:41 PM
P: 4,664
Nuclear weapons testing options during the 1960's included the possibility of detonating a nuclear bomb behind the Moon. This would be out of sight (direct electromagnetic pulse) from low-orbit space satellites.

Bob S
petergreat
petergreat is offline
#3
Sep10-10, 01:00 PM
P: 270
Thanks for that interesting piece of information. I overlooked the fact that EM pulse is also damaging. However, my question is specifically about whether space waste will be generated. Anyone?

Norman
Norman is offline
#4
Sep10-10, 01:20 PM
P: 922

Does a nuclear explosion in outer space generate space waste at all?


When atmospheric detonations were allowed, in the 60s the US detonated a nuclear weapon at about 400 km above the Earth. This created an artificial belt of trapped electrons, akin to the naturally occuring Van Allen belts. My understanding is that this was a "separate" 3rd belt. It was said to have persisted for over 5 years.
Drakkith
Drakkith is offline
#5
Sep16-10, 01:59 AM
PF Gold
Drakkith's Avatar
P: 11,055
I do not believe the detonation of a nuke would present a serious hazard in physical matter left behind. Most of the matter would be in single atoms or in molecules which would be spread out over a large area and wouldn't simply collect back together in orbit or anything.
threadmark
threadmark is offline
#6
Sep17-10, 07:09 AM
P: 122
There has been a detonation in the ionosphere and caused satellites to malfunction and ground communications stoped for a few hours. After this test there has not been any test in space with nuclear bombs because of the damage caused. I don’t know if the missile test on the moon was nuclear but it would be pretty hard to find water if you heat the surface to a few thousand degrees.
TM
603nothing
603nothing is offline
#7
Sep17-10, 07:50 AM
P: 14
This may be interesting and applicable to this thread,


"Capturing the Atom Bomb on Film"
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2...0914_atom.html


Register to reply

Related Discussions
Nuclear explosion in space x-rays hit atmosphere. High Energy, Nuclear, Particle Physics 7
Outer Space 10^3 to 10^9 Biology, Chemistry & Other Homework 4
human in outer space without space suit Astrophysics 20
Nuclear detonation in outer space High Energy, Nuclear, Particle Physics 17
Pressure of outer space Introductory Physics Homework 2