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Water in space

  1. Feb 23, 2012 #1

    My friend and me had a theoretical discussion about water in space.
    Assuming we will take a glass of water in room temperature, and will suddenly release it in space. What would happen?

    I think that the water will boil, and then immedietly freeze, but the water temperature will still remain similar to the original temperature, and then, assuming no light around it, it will slowly get colder. It wil take a long time until it will get to absolute zero.

    My friend thinks it will almost immedietly get to absolute zero.

    Who is the smart one? :)

  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 23, 2012 #2


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    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Well, your friends guess is easy to answer. It will not get to absolute zero instantly. Any material above absolute zero will emit EM radiation and lose energy, but this takes time. The water will slowly give off infrared light until eventually it reaches a point just above absolute zero.

    To my knowledge, I think some of the water will boil off quickly, and the remainder will freeze and slowly sublimate until it has diffused into space.
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