Can you be killed by a bullet falling from the sky?

+3 votes
asked Jun 8, 2010 by Pamela (186 points)
Can you be killed by a bullet falling from the sky?

16 Answers

+1 vote
answered Jun 8, 2010 by TheFogul (311 points)
There was a Mythbuster's episode about this and the answer is no, it wouldn't be going fast enough.
+1 vote
answered Jun 8, 2010 by tsilb (47,280 points)
You can be killed by *anything* falling from the sky if it's going fast enough and hits you the right way.
commented Jun 14, 2010 by trueb (80,880 points)
but objects falling from the sky reach a terminal velocity, meaning that the force of the air resistance upward is matching the force of gravity downward putting the system in an equilibrium state and not allowing anymore acceleration. it can be modeled by the following differential equation v'=-g-(b/m)v, v' is the rate of change of velocity or acceleration g is the acceleration due to gravity, b is the coefficient determining at which rate it reaches terminal velocity, m is the mass of the object and v is the velocity the object is going at.  when the rate (b/m)v = -g v'=0, and no acceleration takes place.
+2 votes
answered Jun 8, 2010 by kyle_on_the_radio (2,856 points)
Only if it was shot at you from the sky. The velocity isn't great enough, ask Mythbusters.
+1 vote
answered Jun 8, 2010 by conoraleckelly (1,031 points)
Couldn't a penny falling from the sky (dropped from a tall building) cause damage too Yes/no? so i guess a bullet could
commented Jun 8, 2010 by mjunger (76 points)
Being damaged, and being killed is two completly different things.
+2 votes
answered Jun 8, 2010 by roguekiller23231 (4,316 points)
people can be killed by stray bullets, the chances of one hitting you, or one falling from a great distance are minimal, they would probably cause you a lot of damage if hit in the head, would probably kill a child or elderly person, but would probably just cause you some brain damage.
+2 votes
answered Jun 8, 2010 by trueb (80,880 points)
I personally do not like to cite the myth-busters in anything. it really becomes an issue of terminal velocity, i must admit i do not know this area of physics well enough to calculate it. if some one can come up with a drag coefficient of a bullet i may be able to help.
+1 vote
answered Jun 9, 2010 by mralexn (61 points)
i guess it all really depends on how high the bullet has fallen from,
cant 1p falling from a sky scraper cause serious damage?
commented Jun 9, 2010 by chadt4 (12,475 points)
No, because the wind currents around the skyscraper would just push the penny back onto the building. Mythbusters did that one too.
+1 vote
answered Jun 9, 2010 by Jason Muir (426 points)
Although the mythbusters found that the velocity of the bullet isn't great enough they also acknowledged that people have been killed from bullets falling from the sky.

There are many documented deaths from falling bullets.
0 votes
answered Jun 9, 2010 by blackbird307 (3,747 points)
If earth had more gravity. It would be theoretically possible. But air resistance also has to be taken account of. Also depends where it is dropped and how high. It also depends on how heavy it is.
commented Jun 9, 2010 by trueb (80,880 points)
"It also depends on how heavy it is." <- this statement is incorrect, the rate of which objects free fall has nothing to do with how heavy it is or how much mass it has
commented Jun 9, 2010 by Seb (23,610 points)
0 votes
answered Jun 9, 2010 by Coop66 (1,118 points)
On new years this year a little boy was killed by a bullet that fell from the sky during the 12am tradition of shooting a gun in the air. He was in church praying when the bullet fell from the sky directly on his head.
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