posted on Dec, 12 2002 @ 09:21 AM
Whoa there, you are issuing two different statements here:
"Space is a vacuum
A vacuum cannot conduct heat "
"If the sun shines on you in space you are screwed, because there is no air to draw the heat away from you. Heat is only lost thro radiation. "
What you are saying contradicts yourself.
The reason for the lack of temperature in space (somewhere around 3 Kelvin) is because there are no atoms to conduct the heat. Temperature is the
average kinetic energy of molecules in an area, if there are only one or two molecules, the temperature is quite low. Induvidually they are extreemly
hot (somewhere around 100000K) but since we are talking about an area here, it is quite a bit lower. That... and solar winds are not a very good
conductor of heat.
As you are studying thermodynamics, I would assume that you do know the three different ways that heat can travel: convection, conduction and
Since space lacks the density to allow conduction to occur, and lacks the magnetic fields to allow convection to occur, the only way it can travel is
by radiation, as you stated.
However, heating by radiation is still a fuction of time (ie you still need to have it "in the sun" for a long time). During the Moon's two weeks
in the sun it increases temperature from roughly >100K to