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If an astronaut fired a shotgun at Earth from orbit....

Discussion in 'Physical & Life Sciences' started by Aldebaran, Jan 4, 2020.

  1. Aldebaran

    Aldebaran Star Power!

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    ...would it create a really cool meteor shower?

    Lets look at some facts first. Most meteors we see in the sky are only a grain of sand, and yet produce a fiery flash of light in the sky that can be seen on earth even though the actual burn-up is happening about 50 miles up in the atmosphere.

    Now let's take a look at what a shotgun shell contains. A 1oz. shotgun shell that contains #7.5 birdshot has 387 pellets made out of lead, which I would assume would take longer to burn up than a grain of sand would, and therefore would produce a brighter and longer streak of light in the sky. Therefore, wouldn't we see the elongated trails of 387 meteors coming down? https://rangeservices.nra.org/media/4074/shotshell-ballistics.pdf

    Then we could try 00 Buckshot. Those are much larger, and therefore might very well make it all the way to the surface, or at least have the longest burn-up time.
     
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  2. Nithavela

    Nithavela Building a stairway to home depot

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    It would propably look like a single meteor from the ground, considering the high proximity.
     
  3. Aldebaran

    Aldebaran Star Power!

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    I guess so, assuming it was fired from orbit as I was saying. Perhaps I should have asked about if the shot was fired from a longer distance to give the shot more time to spread out.
     
  4. Aryeh Jay

    Aryeh Jay Veteran Supporter

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    Steel shot would be better, lead doesn’t glow.
     
  5. Aldebaran

    Aldebaran Star Power!

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    Good observation!
    Let's substitute steel for the lead shot. (I'm sure NASA is taking notes) ;)
     
  6. timothyu

    timothyu Well-Known Member

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    I would be more concerned about the fool blowing himself out of orbit and into the unknown.
     
  7. Aldebaran

    Aldebaran Star Power!

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    He could either be wearing a thruster pack, or just have the shotgun floating by itself and then trigger it remotely.
     
  8. Aryeh Jay

    Aryeh Jay Veteran Supporter

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    Even better, Tungsten shot. Denser than lead, highest melting temp so it will last longer, used to be in light bulb filaments so it will be bright and Cabela’s has it for $41.99. #2 shot, so it is BIG!
     
  9. timothyu

    timothyu Well-Known Member

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    He might as well spit as the thrust would be diminished. Thruster pack? A lot of expense for some baby finger fireworks. Besides the pellets would never reach the velocity of a grain of sand burning through the atmosphere. That's like saying aviation fuel can melt steel.
     
  10. Aryeh Jay

    Aryeh Jay Veteran Supporter

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    Double barrel, first shot starts the meteor shower, and then opposite direction the second shot stops the astronaut. Newton would be proud.
     
  11. Aryeh Jay

    Aryeh Jay Veteran Supporter

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    In a low earth orbit the shot will already be moving at 17,000 miles per hour before even being fired.
     
  12. timothyu

    timothyu Well-Known Member

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    :) Wouldn't the second shot propel the astronaut into the burn zone himself, gravity intensifying the thrust? Are you suggesting flatulence as mini-thrusters to offset the gravitational pull?
     
  13. Aldebaran

    Aldebaran Star Power!

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    That's exactly right! It's also why spacecraft need heat shields to prevent them from burning up when re-entering the atmosphere, even though they are just slowing down the craft just enough to fall out of orbit. A shotgun blast would be doing nearly the same thing, relatively. The 1600 Feet per second or so of the shotgun load wouldn't add much to the 17,000 MPH that just staying in orbit requires.
     
  14. timothyu

    timothyu Well-Known Member

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    That plus the 1700 mph of an actual bullet is still short of 25,000 mph to 160,000 mph for a shooting star.
     
  15. durangodawood

    durangodawood Dis Member

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    Is there even a second amendment in space?
     
  16. Aryeh Jay

    Aryeh Jay Veteran Supporter

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    It may, he would have provided enjoyment to thousands of people so he would be remembered.
     
  17. timothyu

    timothyu Well-Known Member

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    Nope.. it's the wild west, north, east , south
     
  18. Aryeh Jay

    Aryeh Jay Veteran Supporter

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    Just make sure you are over Texas, then you are covered.
     
  19. durangodawood

    durangodawood Dis Member

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    Ah ok. But at least up/down is regulated, right?
     
  20. timothyu

    timothyu Well-Known Member

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    That would apply to the laws of doing the hokey-pokey.
     
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