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Video Transcript:

Would You Hear a Spaceship Fly By?

Alexandra: (In a movie theater) When you watch a movie you probably realize that not everything you see on screen exists in real life. You know, things like werewolves or particle transporters (Alex transports outside).

But did you ever think that the sound effects you hear might not even be possible? Let me show you what I mean.

I imagine that at some point we have all thrown things into water and watched the ripples move away in concentric circles (tosses candy into lake) . But have you ever tried to watch that same rippling effect after dropping those things onto (drops candy onto dirt) dry ground?

There are no ripples because there's no water for the ripples, or waves, to move through.

Sound waves travel in all directions but require a medium to travel through, that medium can be a solid, liquid, or gas, as long as it's full of molecules that can bounce off of one another and carry the sound.

Because the environment of space is practically void of any molecules, you can't hear a sound in space, not even a spaceship flying by so don't believe everything you see or hear in the movies.

End of Transcript

NASA Brain Bite BB1501B

Feedback/questions: brainbites@nasa.gov

Curator: Kim Dismukes | Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty | Updated: 12/07/2004
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