Phenomena

Spinning Droplet Galaxies

Droplets flung from a spinning ball appear like a spiral galaxy

Water flung from a spinning tennis ball takes on a shape reminiscent of a spiral galaxy. As it detaches, water leaves the surface with both the tangential velocity of the spinning ball and a radial velocity due to the centrifugal force flinging it. The continued spin of the ball makes the thin ligaments of water still attached to it spiral and stretch. Eventually, surface tension can no longer hold the water together against the centrifugal forces, and the ligaments split into a spray of droplets. (Image credit: W. Derryberry and K. Tierney)

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