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8 Ways Science Would Change a Space Battle

Even though one has never broken out in the real world, pop culture has helped us to imagine what a space battle might play out like. Nimble fighters screaming through space like TIE fighters, shooting laser beams while opening up their thrusters full-burn…except none of that would really go down. So what would a space battle really look like, according to science?

In my latest Because Science, I’m going through eight ways that science changes how a space battle would look, sound, and even feel. It’s understandable that science often takes a backseat to story in epics like Star Wars or Star Trek, but when the science is sound, it changes everything.

Speaking of sound, a real space battle would be silent. There isn’t air in space, so there is no medium to transmit pressure waves, which is all sound is (and all screams are). And because there is no air, the movement of spaceships during a battle would have to change as well. On Earth, air resistance constantly slows objects down, but in space, unless acted on by some other force, a spaceship would continue on at a constant speed in a straight line…forever. In a real space battle you’d see just as much slowing down as speeding up.

But these aren’t the biggest changes science makes to a sci-fi dog fight. Check out my latest episode above to see them all!

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Surprise! A very special edition of this week’s episode featuring The Expanse‘s Cas Anvar!

Check out my last video on how long Star-Lord could survive in space unprotected; subscribe to this playlist to stay current with the show; buy a Because Science shirt, mug, hat, or collectible pin (you know why); and follow me on Twitter to give me a suggestion for the next episode or on Instagram where I’m now posting extra mini-episodes!

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