Microgravity Combustion

This collage of three combustion images reveals the beautiful symmetry of flames in microgravity. In the absence of gravity, flames are spherical, and, in the confines of a spacecraft, any combustion is extremely dangerous. Thus, most microgravity combustion experiments occur in drop towers. From NASA:

Each image is of flame spread over cellulose paper in a spacecraft ventilation flow in microgravity. The different colors represent different chemical reactions within the flame. The blue areas are caused by chemiluminescence (light produced by a chemical reaction.) The white, yellow and orange regions are due to glowing soot within the flame zone. #

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