Phenomena

Coalescence in Microgravity

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Microgravity is a wonderful playground for fluid dynamics. Here astronaut Reid Wiseman demonstrates the interplay of forces involved in coalescence. When smaller droplets hit with insufficient force, they bounce off the water sphere. But if they hit hard enough to overcome surface tension, they coalesce with the sphere. I think the space station needs a high-speed video camera; I’d like to see this behavior at a few thousand frames per second! (Video credit: R. Wiseman/NASA)

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