Picture of the Day: Burning Droplets of Heptane Fuel in Space

551838main_flex_full.jpg

Burning something in space produces a different outcome than burning it on Earth would because of the absence of gravity. Part of the International Space Station's Flame Extinguishing Experiment, this composite of video stills shows the burning of a 3-millimeter diameter of heptane fuel as illuminated by a bright backlight.

"The bright yellow structure in the middle is the path of the droplet, which becomes smaller as it burns," NASA explained. "Initial soot structures (in green) tend to form near the liquid fuel. These come together into larger and larger particles which ultimately spiral out of the flame zone in long, twisting streamers."

View more Pictures of the Day.

Image: NASA.

Presented by

Nicholas Jackson is a former associate editor at The Atlantic.

Why Principals Matter

Nadia Lopez didn't think anybody cared about her middle school. Then Humans of New York told her story to the Internet—and everything changed.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A History of Contraception

In the 16th century, men used linen condoms laced shut with ribbons.

Video

'A Music That Has No End'

In Spain, a flamenco guitarist hustles to make a modest living.

Video

What Fifty Shades Left Out

A straightforward guide to BDSM

More in Technology

Just In