No Wind in Space

Last night Wolf and I were up to our usual antics: watching a spot of telly before we went to bed for the night. Our choice: Star Trek: Voyager.

The episode we watched, The Fight has the crew of Voyager stuck in chaotic space. They try to navigate out by putting out beacons. They find, however, they have been flying in circles. Tom Paris says something akin to “if we’ve been moving at all.”

Me: all they have to do is stick their hand out the window. That’ll tell ’em if they’re flying.

Wolf: there’s no wind in space.

Me: What?!?

Wolf: if you put your hand out the window you wouldn’t feel anything no matter how fast you were going.

Me: What?!?

Wolf: ok, assuming you could actually roll down the window in a space ship, you wouldn’t feel anything. Here when you put the window down and stick your hand out, you’re feeling the resistance of air. There isn’t air in space so you wouldn’t feel anything.

Me: I fucking hate it when you slay these little daydreams of mine.

It’s like the time I found out that if you went to China, you wouldn’t see the other side of the moon. I was, like, 18. Until that moment, I thought all you had to do was go to the OTHER side of the earth to see the OTHER side of the moon. I was really annoyed with myself that I didn’t know something so elementary. That feeling was recaptured last night.

Wolf wanted me to confirm all this with @NeilTyson. I couldn’t find an email address for Dr. Tyson so I got creative and wrote this post. So please don’t think us wicked effing stupid Dr. Tyson.*

Please answer the question: if you *could* stick your hand out the window of a spaceship, would you feel anything if it were moving at 1/4 impulse, Warp 9, or anything in between?

(*Apparently our public school education didn’t teach either of us such important topics.)

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4 Responses to No Wind in Space

  1. enjoy reading it…Here one, for years I thought the sun in winter time was in the Northern Hemisphere and during the summer time it was in the Southern Hemisphere.
    I try to convenes others of this.
    Oh well I know now…Post if you get and answer from tyson

  2. Administrator says:

    I hope I get an answer from him. I’ll let you know if I do.

  3. Erssie Knits says:

    So what are solar winds then? And do they just occur at outer edges of atmosphere, so not classed as space?

  4. Administrator says:

    That’s a really great question, Erssie. I’ll have Wolf respond to you since he’s the one that thinks there is no wind in space.

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