Bodies in Space series

I did some arts on a damn interesting topic. What happens to a body exposed to outer space? It's not what usually happens in sci fi shows. No instant icicles on your nose, no exploding eyeballs, none of that. So what does happen? Follow me down to the pictures. They each illustrate one symptom of space exposure without containment. In reality they'd all be happening at once, to varying degrees.

Prints of all of the below are available here, so you can educate your friends through arts.

Bodies in Space: Ebullism


Armstrong's limit is the altitude at which water boils at body temperature.Outer organs like skin are strong enough to contain the internally rising pressure above this line, but any of his flesh left uncompressed by a pressure suit will see it's dissolved gasses coming out of solution. As the volume of nitrogen gas in his tissues expands, the exposed parts of his body swell to twice their normal size.
posted on 29 Sep 2014 by Nathan
Tags: Digital, Astronaut, Space, Ink, Bodies in Space
Bodies in Space: Coming Home


To be in orbit around Earth means that he is in constant freefall towards the planet, but moving forward so fast that he keeps missing. If an impact or other event were to slow his velocity, his orbit would decay, pulling him down faster than he moves forward. As he falls, atmospheric drag slows him further. Friction converts his kinetic energy into heat, and he burns up entirely before reaching the ground.
posted on 29 Sep 2014 by Nathan
Tags: Astronaut, Butt, Space, Bodies in Space
Bodies in Space: Micrometeoroids


Millions of fragmented bits of debris and micrometeoroids orbit the Earth at an average speed of 22,000 mph.Damage from such a hypervelocity impact can range from microscopic to catastrophic. While the numbers and speeds are high- and risk to unprotected astronauts is very real- space is enormous. Impact is so unlikely that the one of biggest concerns regards burrs on handrails from small craters abrading space suit gloves.
posted on 29 Sep 2014 by Nathan
Tags: Astronaut, Space, Acrylic, Bodies in Space
Bodies in Space: Flash


Out from under the cover of the magnetosphere, he is under fire from cosmic rays. Averaging almost every three minutes, one of these high-energy charged particles will pass directly through his optic nerve, which interprets this input as flashes of light. Even with his eyes closed, he "sees" these subatomic particles, their shape varying depending on the angle at which they enter the vitreous humor.
posted on 29 Sep 2014 by Nathan
Tags: Digital, Astronaut, Naked Man, Space, Ink, Bodies in Space
Bodies in Space: Hypoxia


The air from her last breath moves down its partial pressure gradient from high concentration in her lungs, to the low concentration in her blood. Abruptly finding herself in a vacuum, this gas exchange is reversed. Oxygen diffuses out from the relatively high partial pressure in her venous blood back into the zero-pressure environment that her lungs are exposed to. She is alert for only a moment before Hypoxia sets in, and, starved of oxygen, loses consciousness within 14 seconds.
posted on 08 Oct 2013 by Nathan
Tags: Digital, Scientific Illustration, Astronaut, Space, Ink, Pencil, Bodies in Space
Bodies in Space: Rupture


Finding himself suddenly in a zero-pressure environment with no oxygen, he makes the mistake of holding his breath. While the pressure resulting from expanding gasses in his body isn't enough to rip him open, it is enough to rupture his lungs internally. This introduces oxygen bubbles into his blood, killing him. Similarly, air trapped inside his digestive tract has easier (butt-related) ways of escaping than exploding through bone and muscle.
posted on 24 Jul 2013 by Nathan
Tags: Astronaut, Space, Ink, Acrylic, Bodies in Space
Bodies in Space: Boiling Blood


Liquids on the surface of her body will vaporize when exposed to the vacuum of space. Her skin, however, is sufficient to maintain her internal pressure, preventing any blood within her vascular system from boiling.

Prints available here.
posted on 30 Jan 2013 by Nathan
Tags: Astronaut, Space, Ink, Acrylic, Gouache, Bodies in Space
Bodies in Space: Phase Change


The boiling point of a given liquid is determined by both temperature and pressure. In the absence of atmospheric pressure, any surface liquids on her body (saliva on her tongue, sweat, moisture on her eyes, etc) boils instantly, without the addition of heat. The resulting vapor immediately desublimates into fine crystals.

Prints available here.
posted on 26 Jul 2012 by Nathan
Tags: Digital, Astronaut, Space, Ink, Bodies in Space
Bodies in Space: Bruising


Being in a zero-pressure environment will cause swelling of your tissues. Not talking like Total Recall-swelling where your head explodes, but definitely a problem. I'm covering swelling in another picture, though. This one is a result of the swelling: bruises.

Prints available here.
posted on 06 Dec 2011 by Nathan
Tags: Digital, Astronaut, Butt, Space, Ink, Bodies in Space
Bodies in Space: Cyanosis


Lack of oxygen is your main concern in space. You'd quickly lose consciousness and, as the oxygen supply in your blood runs out, your skin would take on a bluish tint. No joke, I think this is the most important thing I've ever done. The butt of this man. This man's ass.
Prints available here.
posted on 28 Nov 2011 by Nathan
Tags: Digital, Astronaut, Naked Man, Butt, Space, Pencil, Bodies in Space
Bodies in Space: Decompression


This one looks different than the others in the series because it is; this does not happen. Rapid decompression is not enough to rip your skin off, burst your eyes, or make your chest explode. You'd only be going from probably less than 1 atmosphere of pressure to none. Divers undergo pressure changes many many times more severe, albeit slowly, and they're fine. The eyes and chest exploding notions will get their own pictures, too. Until then, though, prints of this one are available here.
posted on 14 Sep 2011 by Nathan
Tags: Astronaut, Space, Ink, Gouache, Bodies in Space
Bodies in Space: Sunburn


Another consequence of no protection from radiation in space: you'd get a sunburn very easily. If you're near a star.
Prints available here.
posted on 26 Aug 2011 by Nathan
Tags: Digital, Astronaut, Space, Ink, Bodies in Space
Bodies in Space: Radiation


Another thing that happens in space, away from an atmosphere or space ship, is being bombarded by cosmic rays. Many many years after he dies of oxygen deprivation, he will die of cancer.
Prints available here.
posted on 19 May 2011 by Nathan
Tags: Digital, Astronaut, Space, Ink, B.S., Bodies in Space
Bodies in Space: Convection


This is the first of a series called "Bodies in Space." This one illustrates that you don't freeze instantly in space, as if you've been launched out the airlock in Battlestar Galactica. On Earth you lose heat by convecting it into the air around you. In space, though, there is no medium into which you convect heat. Aside from evaporative cooling, the only way to lose heat is to radiate it, which is a far slower process. You'd be dead of something else long before you're cold. Neat!
Prints available here.
posted on 20 Dec 2009 by Nathan
Tags: Digital, Astronaut, Space, Ink, Bodies in Space
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