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Does space smell?


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#106    Sun Raven

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 01:24 PM

Woah this topic has gotten a bit wacky.................... well but I think we can come up to a conclusion no? Space itself as a vacum cannot be smelt, in a vacum there are no odour particles to smell because well........ a vacum is totally empty, but there is matter in space too, this matter can be small enough to pass through our sensory system and so we can distinguish the smell.

Although,as I said before astronauts cannot smell in space, they loose their taste and the ability to smell due to the reason wich I already posted in this same topic.


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#107    MID

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 08:25 PM

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'Alex01' date='Oct 5 2007, 09:24 AM'
Woah this topic has gotten a bit wacky.................... well but I think we can come up to a conclusion no? Space itself as a vacum cannot be smelt, in a vacum there are no odour particles to smell because well........ a vacum is totally empty, but there is matter in space too, this matter can be small enough to pass through our sensory system and so we can distinguish the smell.



A good try, but somewhat faulty.

You're right, space itself is essentially (for all practical purposes) total vacuum.   It cannot be smelled because you cannot smell nothing.
That's really the bottom line.

Now, there is obviously a very small concentration of matter in space, some of which could be an odorant if it were concentrated enough, and if it were suspended in an atmosphere dense enough for humans to be able to inhale.  However, this matter is not nearly dense enough, and the point is moot since there's no atmopshere there to carry the odorants to our sense organs.


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Although,as I said before astronauts cannot smell in space, they loose their taste and the ability to smell due to the reason wich I already posted in this same topic.


No one can smell "in space".  Astronauts are not in space as pertains to their environment.  They are in a spacecraft or a suit.  Further, they don't entirely lose their sense of taste and smell while aloft.   But they couldn't smell space in any case, since space is functionally nothing.


#108    Sun Raven

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 09:22 PM

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However, this matter is not nearly dense enough, and the point is moot since there's no atmopshere there to carry the odorants to our sense organs.


I suspect that this matter would be smelt in a recipient since nobody would open their space suit to smell it. And it doesn't matter if there is no atmosphere to carry the matter, if you are somehow sorrounded my this somewhat gasous matter the simple action of inhaling would be enough. And I'm not talking about the matter sparced throughout space but the one concentrated in certain point (nebula). Matter sparced in space would have to be concentrated in a certain point for it to be dense enough to be picked up by our sensory system. Anyways smelling this concentrated or sparced matter (wich would have to be concentrated too) would not be the actual smell of space since it is what space contained, space being a vacum (emptyness).

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No one can smell "in space". Astronauts are not in space as pertains to their environment. They are in a spacecraft or a suit.


I already know this of course not by my knowledge of astronomy and space flight but by simple logic, "wasn't born yesterday". I really wonder if you concentrated when reading my post.

Even though this astronauts are in their ships or space suits to be precise they loose this two senses wich I stated before.

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A good try, but somewhat faulty.


I think not, a simple and slight misinterpretation from both parts doesn't mean it's faulty.

Edited by Alex01, 06 October 2007 - 01:24 PM.

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#109    MID

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Posted 06 October 2007 - 04:55 PM

Alex,
Please take no offense.  

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'Alex01' date='Oct 5 2007, 05:22 PM'  I already know this of course not by my knowledge of astronomy and space flight but by simple logic, "wasn't born yesterday". I really wonder if you concentrated when reading my post.


I was indeed concentrating on your post.
I think what I am pointing out here is that while you understand what you were trying to say, the syntax of your presentation created a bit of a verbal fallacy:

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well but I think we can come up to a conclusion no? Space itself as a vacum cannot be smelt, in a vacum there are no odour particles to smell because well........ a vacum is totally empty, but there is matter in space too, this matter can be small enough to pass through our sensory system and so we can distinguish the smell.



You see you conclude that space as a vacuum cannot be smelled, and declare that vacuum is totally empty, and in the same breath state that there is matter there which could pass into our sensory system and be smelled.

That's where the confusion lies, and what "somewhat faulty" referred to.

You see the question arises from reading this statement:  how would any matter in space pass into our sensory system (olefactory) without being suspended in a breathable atmoshere?   You see, space by definition, has no breathable atmosphere, so smell isn't possible.   Trying it means death to the experimenter.

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I suspect that this matter would be smelt in a recipient since nobody would open their space suit to smell it. And it doesn't matter if there is no atmosphere to carry the matter, if you are somehow sorrounded my this somewhat gasous matter the simple action of inhaling would be enough. And I'm not talking about the matter sparced throughout space but the one concentrated in certain point (nebula). Matter sparced in space would have to be concentrated in a certain point for it to be dense enough to be picked up by our sensory system. Anyways smelling this concentrated or sparced matter (wich would have to be concentrated too) would not be the actual smell of space since it is what space contained, space being a vacum (emptyness).



Now this does make sense to a degree, although it too contains some fallacies.  In other words I think I know what you're trying to say.

If you are somehow surrounded by gasseous matter somwhere in space, you would also necessarily have to be in a place where this gasseous matter was not in vacuum...in other words, it would have to be under sufficient pressure to allow inhalation.   This then, means you are not actually in space anymore, but in an atmosphere of some sort under pressure.   If you are inside of a nebula, it is not a logical assumption that the matter surrounding you is of sufficient pressure to allow you to open your hat and take a sniff.  A nebula consists of various gasses and such that have escaped the gravity of the star that has crapped out and has shed its matter into space.  Matter suspended in vacuum cannot be smelled.   You must have pressurized atmosphere sufficient to allow you to draw it in.


For instance, you could go to Venus, and if you could get down into the atmosphere a little ways (the surface pressure is too high...can't breathe there either, since you'd have been crushed to death by the atmosphere long before you would think about breathing), where you could open your hat and take a sniff, you'd certainly smell something...for a moment....the horrific scent of sulfur dioxide suspended in C02...and even at altitude, it would be way too hot.   You'd be shortly dead without any oxygen, but you might have smelled it for a couple seconds...as you gagged and choked on hot, noxious gas prior to passing out.

But that unattractive option isn't space either.



I think we've gone way astray of the rather simple principal in this thread.

Space doesn't smell, because it can't.
Matter suspended in space means it's in vacuum also, and being that the human sense of smell requires pressurized atmoshere sufficient to be breathed in, that matter can't be smelled in space either.









#110    Belial

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Posted 06 October 2007 - 06:20 PM

Does this help?
BLOG

Where it states "For official use only" - gently rub a white wax candle over the area indicated.

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#111    MID

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Posted 06 October 2007 - 07:11 PM

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Does this help?
BLOG




I think it might.

Clearly, the discussion centers on the smells one can smell in an atmosphere in a spacecraft, and the scent of things therein, not to scent of space itself, which of course, has no scent.


When we speak of the smell of space, we've tended to confuse the issue by talking about scents which are smelled inside spacecraft and suits...while an astroanut is in space, rather than the smell of space itself, which can not have a scent.


Thinking about it critically, one has to realize that without being encased in a suit, or a spacecraft, no human has ever actually been in space.   And of course, if anyone had, they would've remained uncomfortably conscious for perhaps 10 seconds, and then mercifully passed out to expire peacefully a couple minutes later.

Edited by MID, 06 October 2007 - 07:14 PM.


#112    SameerPrehistorica

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 08:04 PM

there aint no way we can smell as there is no air over there............................


#113    MID

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 09:48 PM

davesam on Oct 18 2007, 04:04 PM, said:

there aint no way we can smell as there is no air over there............................



I believe that there cuts to the chase.
There ain't no air over there.  

Yup.


#114    Sun Raven

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Posted 19 October 2007 - 01:50 PM

MID on Oct 18 2007, 11:48 PM, said:

I believe that there cuts to the chase.
There ain't no air over there.  

Yup.


Hehehe, oh! I smell sarcasm. laugh.gif

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#115    Belial

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 09:44 AM

Sorry for this thread becoming a monster, i never intended for it to get so vast. It's very interesting how such a simple question becomes so interesting and is viewed and explained in so many different ways, with people using science and self beliefs to get across there own version of the question.  thumbsup.gif

Where it states "For official use only" - gently rub a white wax candle over the area indicated.

Kick a habit - i never did like Tolkien...

#116    Sun Raven

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 04:58 PM

belial on Oct 20 2007, 11:44 AM, said:

Sorry for this thread becoming a monster, i never intended for it to get so vast. It's very interesting how such a simple question becomes so interesting and is viewed and explained in so many different ways, with people using science and self beliefs to get across there own version of the question.  thumbsup.gif


Well this thread has become very interesting even though the topic might seem simple doesn't mean the explanation is simple aswell. You shoudn't be sorry, you sould be proud. thumbsup.gif

Edited by Alex01, 20 October 2007 - 04:58 PM.

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#117    MID

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 11:04 PM

Alex01 on Oct 19 2007, 09:50 AM, said:

Hehehe, oh! I smell sarcasm. laugh.gif




Yea...just a little. original.gif

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(Belial...)Sorry for this thread becoming a monster, i never intended for it to get so vast. It's very interesting how such a simple question becomes so interesting and is viewed and explained in so many different ways, with people using science and self beliefs to get across there own version of the question.



I think the question revealed quite alot.
It was a good one, and hopefully, folks have learned something through it.

Not simply the basic fact that "nothing" cannot pssibly have a scent, but it got into discussions about the human olefactory sense, and what is actually required in order for it to work.  It's one of those things we take for granted, and which many people assume might work in any environment.  

It also got into discussions about vacuum, and the physiological effects on the human body when exposed to it, which is another topic that alot of people don't know too much about.

It also revealed aspects of folks ability to express in rational, linear fashion.


Thus, the question is what is called a "good question".  It leads to a discussion of various scientific aspects which hopefully results in knowledge.

That can't be bad, and it's nothing to apologize for!

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#118    Abecrombie

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Posted 24 October 2007 - 09:09 AM

finally some of the members put a little ummf in it. lol
its a great topic, and a funny one too.  thumbup.gif

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