posted on Apr, 10 2006 @ 05:24 PM
Fun question, with a really strange answer.
The thing is, in our universe, there is no such thing as a "true" vacuum. There's always something left inside it. Take any pocket of space you
like, and put a bottle over it. Although much of the bottle will be empty, there'll still be some molecules of space dust, or hydrogen or oxygen or
some kind of atomic structure somewhere in there.
So, what happens when you release gas into space?
Well, first off, the gas is going to expand as fast as it possible can. The molecules in air got a lot of energy, and the more energy you got, the
less dense you get (water and a few others are an exception due to their unique crystaline forms). With all that energy, and so much space, the
molecules will bump into each other and send each other hurtling away from each other. This continues on and on until they stop bumping into each
other (because the pocket of "air" has expanded sufficiently) as often. This is how their "pressure" in space drops.
Now, once they hit light, all that energy from the light is going to be transfered to fewer molecules/area (since the molecules are spreading out).
This gives them even MORE energy and turns them into a plasma. They bump into each other more often now, and speed up this "explosion" of air -
though the explosion has lost any force it may have originally had (just not enough molecules to sufficiently push on anything).
Once ionized into a plasma, the molecules will them likely form into part of the solar wind, being carried by other plasmas, charges, and
electromagnetic changes in the path away from the sun.
And that is what happens when air is exposed to the vacuum in space.