Flame, in microgravity. Reid Wiseman sends home the best Vines from Space.
We've written before about how and why flame abandons its flickering familiar shape for a sphere on the International Space Station. It seems the experiments aren't over, as astronaut and provider of six-second loops of incredible views from the station Reid Wiseman sent home footage of the second-generation Flame Extinguishing experiment.
According to the project description by NASA:
The Flame Extinguishment - 2 (FLEX-2) experiment is the second experiment to fly on the ISS which uses small droplets of fuel to study the special spherical characteristics of burning fuel droplets in space. The FLEX-2 experiment studies how quickly fuel burns, the conditions required for soot to form, and how mixtures of fuels evaporate before burning. Understanding these processes could lead to the production of a safer spacecraft as well as increased fuel efficiency for engines using liquid fuel on Earth.
Cool, sounds like it'll be interesting science. But even if the experiment is a dud, the footage is hypnotizing. Thanks, Reid! Here's the full clip:
— Reid Wiseman (@astro_reid) July 18, 2014
I don't know about you, but to me the flame looks just like a mobile space jellyfish, scooting across a starry sea.