Phenomena

Blowing Bubbles in Space

Blowing bubbles in your fruit juice is a bad idea when you’re in space, as astronaut Jack Fischer demonstrates. On Earth, gravity dominates water’s behavior, except when things are very small. But in microgravity, a liquid’s other characteristics become more obvious. Adhesion between the straw and juice guides it up and onto Fischer’s face. Surface tension is strong enough to hold the expanding juice bubble together. Capillary action, the ability of fluids to climb up narrow spaces, is far more apparent in microgravity as well, although it’s not important for this demo. We sometimes forget how powerful these forces can be, but microgravity is a good reminder that fluids are more complicated than we think. (Image credit: J. Fischer, source)

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