1664741994 The universe full of air a catastrophic scenario

The universe full of air, a catastrophic scenario?

At first glance, the idea seems perfect. Astronauts don’t need a helmet to breathe freely. Unfortunately (or fortunately) the various gases that make up the atmosphere aren’t just for breathing. They also affect everything around us.

Hear the melody of the universe

Thanks to the air, the sounds of space would have a means of transportation to travel. In fact, the objects that surround us, with their movement, cause the molecules that make up the air to vibrate. These waves can reach our ears. A bit like throwing a stone into a lake: Small circular waves form around the impact, slowly disappearing when the water stops. It’s the same scenario in the firmament: stars explode, planets vibrate, solar winds blow… All of this and more has the potential to vibrate molecules if space were filled with air.

Simulation in which a melody is created from the sounds that the planets of the solar system make while vibrating.

Unfortunately, an astronaut on a spacewalk would not actually hear all the sounds that celestial bodies make. As on Earth, the further away you are from the transmitter, the harder it is to hear the sounds. Imagine this: If it is impossible to hear the sounds emitted just a few kilometers away, how could we hear the vibration of Saturn, which is a little less than 1.3 billion kilometers from Earth? Yes, the melody of the universe cannot be reality.

Where everything goes wrong…

Hearing and breathing are the positive elements of an air-filled space. On the other hand, our world would not be rosy in such a scenario. In fact, it would be extremely dark. In fact, the moment the air settled on the firmament, everything would collapse. First, due to gravity, Earth would pull air into its atmosphere from space first. So on our planet there would be greater atmospheric pressure, which would annihilate all life forms, including humans. The higher the pressure, the higher the temperatures can rise. That is what would happen on earth at that time. Fierce fires would rage all over the world. Besides, those flames would be our only source of light. In fact, light waves, like sound, propagate the farther they have to overcome obstacles. Therefore, those radiated from our star would have difficulty reaching Earth and throwing it into endless night. All of this would happen within 24 hours of the appearance of air in the universe.

Forest fires
Credits: Matt Howard

Another devastating element would be the friction now present in space. At present, the symbioses between the planets and the sun are possible, as are those of the earth and the moon, since nothing can stop their rotation. The air that would be present in space would create drag that would slow down the rotation of the earth and the rotation of the moon. This would happen relatively quietly. After 10 to 100,000 years, our satellite would collide with the Earth, which would then be engulfed by the Sun.

Elsewhere in the solar system

This is the fate that awaits Earth when space suddenly fills with air, a hypothetical scenario as impossible. Of course, other celestial bodies also float in our solar system and they too would experience the catastrophic consequences of such an event.

Just like Earth, terrestrial planets like Mercury, Venus, and Mars would eventually crash into the Sun. The fate of gas giants such as Jupiter and Saturn is quite different. They, too, would pull gases from the air into their atmosphere thanks to gravity. However, since not everything would collapse, their size and mass would gradually increase. So they would have the opportunity to become real stars. To achieve this, Jupiter must increase at least 60 times and Saturn at least 50 times its current mass. In our world such an event is rather impossible.


Besides, the whole firmament would undergo an evil change. Scientists believe new types of stars would emerge, such as those made mostly of oxygen and nitrogen. This composition is incomprehensible and impossible in the universe that we know. Of course, these gases are part of the composition of the air with 21% and 78% respectively. Eventually space would collapse in on itself and its mass would increase. According to simulations, this could help halt its expansion. The conclusion of this event would be a return to the birth of everything, that is, the Big Bang.

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