Does an ex­plo­sion in space pro­duce pres­sure waves?

Is a space­craft af­fected, if a bomb ex­plodes in space nearby? Or will noth­ing hap­pen, as space does not in­clude mol­e­cules, through which the en­ergy can move?

Science Illustrated - - ASK US -

Bombs can ex­plode in space, but the process is dif­fer­ent from what it is on Earth. When a bomb ex­plodes on Earth, a high-pres­sure wave de­vel­ops, trav­el­ling through the air, but in empty space, there is noth­ing in which a pres­sure wave can spread. Al­though pres­sure waves do not ex­ist in space, ex­plo­sions are still haz­ardous, as hot gases and frag­ments spread in all di­rec­tions. In Earth’s at­mos­phere, ob­jects are slowed down by the air, which ab­sorbs much of the ex­plo­sion en­ergy, but in space, there is no brake. Con­se­quently, the ex­plo­sion ma­te­rial will spread very fast, and even a space­craft far away could be de­stroyed. Su­per­novas are the great­est ex­plo­sions in the uni­verse, which emit hot gases at a speed of thou­sands of km/h.

Cas­siopeia A is the re­mains of a 300-year-old su­per­nova. Hot gases are still emit­ted at a speed of 400 km/sec­ond.

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