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"Cold Space"


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I was just thinking about this. Space is said to be "cold", but really, because space is a giant vacuum, is it not the case that there are no particles with low amounts of energy floating around to take away heat from a substance?


Say you have a 1 kg aluminum block at 500 degrees inside the international space station. You then throw the block out into space through a special airlock door. Wouldn't the block stay at that temperature because there are no cold particles around the block that the block can give its heat to?


I honestly have no basis for thought in this kind of environment. Would the above, as I have described it, occur?

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it would cool down due to radiation.


hot things glow (you can see this with really hot things that are red or even white hot) although not usually in the visible spectrum. you yourself are glowing a good shade of infrared right now.


this will take thermal energy out of your block of aluminium.


in your scenario you would also have to consider radiative heating from incoming light. mainly from the sun but the earth and moon are also significant players particularly if you are on the nightside of earth.

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all answers are so intriguing as they all have correct descriptions.


What is interesting though is the synergy of them and your description too. Although you were wrong in the assumption, you still imagined a carrier, a medium to carry off the heat which moontanman mentions and even insane alien's idea. radiation , a wave and particle.. as a particle... the answer makes 'sense''; however, with the wave model one will think so to be able to work BOTH as particle and wave, there must be some kind of media (hence , why (a)ether was an idea). So your question is a classic question, which really has with the intution of solving this problem of equivocal yin-yang ability of particle/wave behaviour :)




edit: wow, half the message disappeared due to touchpad selection by moving sigh

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