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Physical forces of a space collision

  1. Jan 15, 2009 #1
    Hello everybody!

    I've a question concerning the physical forces that would occur when a huge object (let's say a metal space ship) collides with an asteroid or a small moon (cold and without atmosphere). Is there any chance that the friction that would occur could melt the ship? Or would the space temperature cool it down?

  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 15, 2009 #2
    wow seems to your question seems to you a wonderful and very clever
    I will try to look for the answer to your question
    But can the response to my question
    What is the difference between energy and force?
    Maybe a stupid question, but the reason I held
  4. Jan 15, 2009 #3
    Well I've to confess that I'm not so sure. I'd say the force is the acceleration of the object (the kinetic energy).
  5. Jan 15, 2009 #4


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    Obviously, the amount of energy released is going to be dependent on the size of the ship and it's velocity with respect to the asteroid or moon, but yes, heat will be a large factor in the collision. With no atmosphere to carry energy away as sound, most of the energy will go into heating up both the material of the ship and the moon/asteroid. So, if the ship is large enough or going fast enough, it is possible that the ship would melt and literally fuse into the asteroid.
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