Science Focus - the home of BBC Science Focus Magazine
What would happen if you shot a gun in space? © Getty Images

What would happen if you shot a gun in space?

Subscribe to BBC Science Focus Magazine and get 6 issues for just £9.99

We don’t advise shooting a gun in space; you never know what you’re going to hit…

Asked by: Jack O’Neill, Glasgow

Advertisement

Assuming you are floating freely in space the gun will work just as it does on Earth. However, the bullet will continue moving for many thousands of years, eventually coming to a stop due to the friction from the diffuse material found in ‘empty’ space (or when it encounters another object). Because of conservation of momentum, however, you will also begin to move, in the opposite direction to the bullet, at a velocity of several centimeters per second.


Advertisement

Subscribe to BBC Focus magazine for fascinating new Q&As every month and follow @sciencefocusQA on Twitter for your daily dose of fun science facts.

Authors

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Sponsored content