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Blowing Bubbles at the ISS
Kirt's Cogitations™ #6

These original Kirt's Cogitations™ may be reproduced (no more than 5, please) provided proper credit is given to me, Kirt Blattenberger.

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   Cog·i·ta·tion [koj-i-tey'-shun] – noun: Concerted thought or reflection; meditation; contemplation.
   Kirt [kert] – proper noun: RF Cafe webmaster.


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Blowing Bubbles at the ISS

While playing around on the International Space Station, astronaut-scientist Donald Pettit discovered that in the absence of gravity, ordinary water would maintain itself in a thin film stretched across a ring similar to a child's bubble wand. When shaken, the film held, and would sometimes eject a droplet or two of water - causing the film to get even thinner. On Earth, the surface tension of plain water is too weak to withstand the gravitational force. Adding soap to the water greatly increases its surface tension, allowing the film to persist in a gravitational field. This newfound phenomenon is being studied now for its application in computational fluid dynamics and turbulence.