Every day NASA posts a new astronomy-related picture to their site. I am going to bring them to you in case you forget.
Today’s installment is actually a video. It’s also a video I posted a few weeks ago when Col. Chris Hadfield put it up on YouTube. Perhaps you guys didn’t catch it then, so here is the encore.
Explanation: What happens if you wring out a wet towel while floating in space? The water shouldn’t fall toward the floor because while orbiting the Earth, free falling objects will appear to float. But will the water fly out from the towel, or what? The answer may surprise you. To find out and to further exhibit how strange being in orbit can be, Expedition 35 Commander Chris Hadfield did just this experiment last week in the microgravity of the Earth orbiting International Space Station. As demonstrated in the above video, although a few drops do go flying off, most of the water sticks together and forms a unusual-looking cylindrical sheath in and around the towel. The self-sticking surface tension of water is well known on Earth, for example being used to create artistic water cascades and, more generally, raindrops.