Watch: ISS Astronauts Create Glowing, Colored Orbs of Floating Water

Monday, 12 October 2015 - 10:36AM
Space
Monday, 12 October 2015 - 10:36AM
Watch: ISS Astronauts Create Glowing, Colored Orbs of Floating Water
Thanks to the state-of-the-art Red Dragon camera on board the ISS, we can now see what it looks like when astronauts get some downtime and decide to put antacids and food coloring in floating orbs of water:





In the first video, we see droplets of water coalesce into a floating orb as a result of the zero-gravity environment. Since hydrogen has a slightly positive charge and oxygen has a slightly negative negative charge, the hydrogen and oxygen tend to stick together. On the surface, the water molecules interface with the air surrounding it, and as a result have fewer bonds, which makes them even stronger. As a result, the water molecules on the outside of the bubble form a sort of "skin" which helps the ball stay together.

When the astronauts place an effervescence in the bubble, such as a dissolving antacid, the CO2 bubbles from the fizzing reaction create a marbling effect within the orb. When placed against the light, the bubbles look like pockmarked, cratered moons. Then, in the second video, the astronauts repeat the process with food coloring added, making the bubbles look like orbiting planets, or like artists' depictions of the bubbly multiverse.

Although the astronauts certainly deserve to have fun with different aspects of life in microgravity, they conducted these experiments to demonstrate the new Epic Dragon 4K high-resolution camera. The same model of camera was used to shoot the Hobbit films, and now that it's in use on the ISS, we'll be able to see space experiments and space imagery in more detail than ever before.

Via Popular Science.
Science
NASA
Space

Load Comments