As the title states I have a scene in my book where two ships collide in space. What I want to know is would the passengers hear the sound from inside the ship. (the ship’s hull did not breach but it was a very hard hit) I know that the vacuum of space stops sound but if the ship has air therefore a way for noise to be heard would it. The collision happened outside so I'm a bit torn to what would happen
closed as off-topic by Renan, Frostfyre, Vincent, Bellerophon, SPavel Mar 23 '18 at 17:31
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If there is a medium to transmit vibration such as a ship hull into the atmosphere inside, any people aboard would definitely hear the sound. Sound is just a vibration through matter, be it solid steel, water, or air. If a ship's hull is impacted, it would transmit that sound to the air inside.
All that's required is physical contact. In the same way, two astronauts in space would be able to speak to each other without radio if they touched their helmets together.
As @Samuel already explained, you can hear collisions if the inside is pressurized. The vibrations of the contact are transmitted through the hull to the air and this in turn to your ears.
As a real-life example, astronauts inside ISS can hear their colleagues doing EVAs. The astronauts inside can hear the outside astronauts moving along the hull and noises generated when they use tools (with direct contact to the hull), for example. Astronauts inside ISS can even hear the impact of micro-meteoroids.
An astronaut in a space-suit (which is a very tiny spacecraft, in a sense) is also able to hear noises via direct contact. In some movies this is used to have two astronauts with failed communication devices talk to each other by having their helmets touch and speak. This should indeed work: your voice vibrates the air which vibrates your helmet which then vibrates the other guys helmet and air inside it. A bit like a tin-can telephone.
If you have ever been in a fender bender, you'll know that it is loud. Outside the car, people hear a little bang. When you're inside the car, all of the metal of the frame and body shakes from the impact and you know that you've been hit.
Your passengers will hear the collision. The may not be able to hear anything else.
The collision happened outside but the vibrations are happening inside the ship. The sound would travel through the air in your ship. Passengers would hear it.