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Originally posted by wx4caster
i would have to say that no, space does not have a smell, and if you were to take off your helmet to have a whiff, your head would explode.
smell requires particles that trigger sensors in your nose. space = vacuum = nothing to smell.
According to the McGraw/Hill Encyclopedia of Space, when animals are subjected to explosive decompression to a vacuum-like state, they do not suddenly balloon-up or have their eyes pop out of their heads. It is, in fact, virtually impossible to compress or expand organic tissues in this way.
Instead, death arises from the response of the free gasses trapped within the tissues. When the ambient pressure falls below 47 millimeters of mercury, about 1/20 the atmospheric pressure at sea level, the water inside all tissues passes into a vapor state beginning at the skin surface. This causes the collapse of surface cells and the loss of huge amounts of body heat via evaporation. After 15 seconds, mental confusion sets-in, and after 20 seconds you become unconscious. You can survive this for about 80 seconds if a pressure higher than about 47 millimeters of mercury is then reestablished.
There have been instances of accidental exposure to a hard vacuum during space suit tests in vacuum chambers, and by pilots flying military aircraft at 100,000 feet. The experience was not fatal, or even exceptionally uncomfortable, for the typically 10 to 15 seconds or so that it was experienced.
Now there is one way you might be able to answer this question ..molecules in space are extremely rare but they are present. If you were able to collect those molecules, then compress them into something breathable, you could then check the odor, but that's about the only way.
Originally posted by Nephi1337
DOES SPACE HAVE A SMELL TO IT ?
Originally posted by Soylent Green Is People
Also, space-walking astronauts have all described a smell on their spacesuits after coming in from their spacewalk. They describe a "smokey and bitter" smell -- but I wonder if that smell is actually just the way their spacesuits reacts with space radiation -- i.e. the space is causing the spacesuits to give off an odor.
Originally posted by Nephi1337
ok another thought i had was this ...we think of alians and we think big eyes and grey skin ...what if they were nothing more then creaturs like the ones we find in the deep sea ? there has got to be some kind of life that can live in space ? thoughts ?
Originally posted by Arbitrageur Actually we can ask somebody who's been exposed to a vacuum. Jim LeBlanc was exposed to a vacuum and said the last thing he noticed before he went unconscious is that the moisture on his tongue was starting to boil...
I would have to say that no, space does not have a smell, and if you were to take off your helmet to have a whiff, your head would explode.
How long can a human live unprotected in space?
If you don't try to hold your breath, exposure to space for half a minute or so is unlikely to produce permanent injury. Holding your breath is likely to damage your lungs, something scuba divers have to watch out for when ascending, and you'll have eardrum trouble if your Eustachian tubes are badly plugged up, but theory predicts -- and animal experiments confirm -- that otherwise, exposure to vacuum causes no immediate injury. You do not explode. Your blood does not boil. You do not freeze. You do not instantly lose consciousness.
Originally posted by Cole DeSteele
Originally posted by muzzleflash
Originally posted by Whine Flu
Originally posted by Silver Shadow
In a vacuum there is nothing there that could convey the sense of any smell.
A bit like asking what colour is total darkness.
No black is the absence of color. It's not a color itself.
Show me where on the spectrum it is.
You sure black is absence of color, or absence of light?
I'm really asking.
Because if darkness is defined as the absence of light, and without light, color cannot exist, then it's color would be black.
Nevermind. I feel a headache coming on.
[edit on 25-6-2010 by Cole DeSteele]