Nuclear Weapons in Space
Name: Austin J.
What would happen if you detonated a nuclear weapon in
space? What kind of range would it have?
Hi, Austin !!
Well, by nuclear weapon you mean an atomic bomb
based on a fission or fusion process. Our Sun is - in this
sense - an atomic bomb, where fusion processes occur
( hydrogen atoms become helium atoms). There is a
lost of mass after this reaction, that is converted in energy
( E= mc^2). But, on the other side, its mass is so big that
the gravity force keeps the star as a body in space. In the
case of a weapon - like you propose - the products will
be dispersed all over the universe. The effect would be
similar to that observed on the Earth, with some differences
when you consider that there is no air in space. Electro-
magnetic waves would be liberated with radioactive particles,
as well, and the intensity of this effect would decrease with
the square of the distance of the explosion.
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Update: June 2012