What would it be like to pop a water balloon in space?

Discussion in 'Community' started by iGav, Feb 12, 2004.

  1. iGav macrumors G3

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  2. mac15 macrumors 68040

    mac15

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    #2
    that is freaking awesome!, I had never really either :)
     
  3. KC9AIC macrumors 6502

    KC9AIC

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    #3
    I wish those movies had been higher resolution! Their small size detracted from my viewing pleasure. Very interesting, regardless.
     
  4. virividox macrumors 601

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    #4
    those videos are great. i liked the first on especially
     
  5. eyelikeart Moderator emeritus

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  6. stoid macrumors 601

    stoid

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    #6
    Well, popping a balloon in zero gravity at least. Popping a balloon in outer space might be different due to the lack of atmosphere. :D Still, very cool!
     
  7. iGav thread starter macrumors G3

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    #7
    what would actually happen if you popped a balloon in Space??
     
  8. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #8
    It wouldn't do a thing except rip the balloon off the iceball....:D

    In the spacestation, it would be pretty much the same thing, only there wouldn't be as much movement. They're in the vomit comet (plane) doing parabolas to simulate zero-G - so the plane moves around a bit, making the water ball move in relation to its background (plane).

    Its great to see how much surface tension really holds the thing together.

    D
     
  9. iGav thread starter macrumors G3

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    #9
    it'd freeze immediately?? :eek:

    okay then, say it was a thermally insulated and heated ballon to keep it liquid, then you pop it... what would happen then??
     
  10. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

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    #10
    Maybe not immediately, but pretty damn fast.

    "In outer space one would also face extreme changes in temperature. The temperature in the sunlight is 120_°C, which is higher than the boiling point of water. In the shade the temperature is about -100_°C, way below the freezing point of water."

    As for you scenario, the balloon would pop, releasing a similar small spray of water droplets that would immediately freeze, and the core would stay together (under surface tension alone, even without atmospheric pressure) and eventually freeze itself. Might even crack from the rapid expansion of the ice forming. It would freeze from the outside in, so the core would freeze last, exerting pressure outwards.

    The thing might even explode :D

    Guess it would matter on how big the water balloon was and how hot you could make it - I'd volunteer to go into space to make these test myself....

    And the difference in the shade and in the sun would make it a very dynamic experiment....

    D
     
  11. wdlove macrumors P6

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    #11
    That is pretty cool iGAV. The link to see the actual experiment was broken.
     
  12. G5orbust macrumors 65816

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    #12
    Holy crap! Thats awesome. I'd love to do that someday and see for myself how things interact in a weightless environment.

    By the way, was that blue liquid they inserted Pepsi Blue? :confused: :confused:
     
  13. MrSugar macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    That's what I am wondering.
     
  14. topicolo macrumors 68000

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    #14
    Wait, doesn't the water need something to transfer their heat to? In the vacuum of space, there are very few particles to do this, so it should take a while, even though there isn't much energy around. I mean, a glass of water held outside to the wind in the winter would freeze, but it would freeze much faster if you dumped it on the ground, right (more matter to absorb heat from the water)?
     
  15. Zeke macrumors 6502

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    #15
    It wouldn't freeze very fast. The "temperature" of space, (not really well defined) or the background radiation temperature is 3K. 3 degrees above absolute zero. But yes, heat transfer must occur and that happens through radiation, which, at low temperatures is a slow process. But, I'm pretty sure if you took a water balloon out into space it would rupture on its own and do exactly what you see from the zero grav experiment. Since there's no pressure, the balloon would swell up from the internal pressure, probaby rupture the balloon (depends on the balloon of course) and then hold the shape of the water due to surface tension. The question is whether it would freeze or evaporate more quickly.
     
  16. mj_1903 macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    As was seen on the Apollo missions, urine quickly turned into a crystal (as in with 15s of hitting space) so I assume the ball of water would do similar.

    Of course, it all depends on which side of the planet you were on. If you were on the sun side, the ball of water would rather quickly vaporize. If it was the shadow side, it would probably rather quickly freeze.

    As for placing the ball in space, well as soon as you reached a certain point in the decompression of the airlock, the balloon would pop, no issues there. Probably around 30% atmosphere or something close to that. Also, if you simply ejected a water balloon into the vacuum of space, I am relatively sure that the pressure difference would be enough to overcome surface tension to a point so you would have lots of blobs of liquid flying off in the direction of the popped balloon membrane.
     
  17. crackpip macrumors regular

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    #17
    That may be, but urine has a lot more stuff in it, like various salts. If it turned into a crystal, my guess is that it would be from the rapid evaporation of water leaving behind the minerals.



    Zeke, the temperature of space as 3K is an average based on the photon density of the cosmic microwave background. Being near a star, we are in a "hot" spot. Good call on the heat transfer bit, though. I hadn't thought about that fact. So indeed the cooling of the water wouldn't be as rapid since the only method of heat transfer would be radiation.


    Without cracking a textbook or anything, I think that the water would not behave like in the plane. If anyone has seen the standard chemistry demo of boiling water in a flask at room temperature by decreasing the pressure inside the flask, it is evident that it doesn't take much for the molecular forces to overcome surface tension. I think the ball of water would basically explode under the motion of the molecules, and the remaining water droplets would vaporize very quickly. Even if ice crystals did form, and it is possible for water to get down to -40C without freezing, they would quickly sublimate.

    my 2¢

    crackpip
     
  18. whocares macrumors 65816

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    #18
    And people actually get *paid* to play around like that? :eek: :p :D :D

    I'm in favor of vaporization of the water in deep space, if one could actually get it out there w/o it exploding first. No real scientific reason, I've kinda forgotten the H2O phase diagram (state vs T° & P°). Just a hunch... I second Mr. Anderson for volunteering for the experiment. :D
     
  19. whocares macrumors 65816

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    #19
  20. mj_1903 macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    That definitely is more than likely the case.

    I have not done physics, so correct me if I am wrong, but anything above ~0K is going to emit some form of radiation.

    A difference of 200+ K is going to cause a significant difference even just from heat escaping from radiation. If it drops 10% in 10s on a log curve or something similar, well its still rapidly dropped below freezing.

    As was witnessed on Mt Everest, water boils around 60C instead of 100C. I support the theory that the water would probably instantly boil (especially if it contains a fair amount of dissolved gas anyway). Only one way to find out I guess, Mr. Andersen?
     
  21. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

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    #21
    Totally forgot about that - now I'll have to do a little research to see what the boiling point of water is with no pressure :D

    Cool stuff this....and I'm still available for the testing ;)

    D
     
  22. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #22
    I'm full of liquid and covered by a thin membrane too. Physically, what would happen to my body if I was suddenly released in space, either in the sun or in the shade?
     
  23. G5orbust macrumors 65816

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    #23
    Im pretty sure you'd explode (possibly implode?). The rapid change from ~101kPa pressure (normal air pressure) to zero kPa pressure isnt pretty.
     
  24. whocares macrumors 65816

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    #24
    Consider that the outside pressure is next to 0. Consider that your body pressure is near 1atm (approx 1.E+5 Pa).

    First all the air would rush out of your lungs. If you're in luck, it'll exit the "normal" way. Hay! don't try hold it back ;) it would get messy..
    Second all the fluids (90+% water) in your body would try to reach equilibrium with the new environmental conditions. They would probably freeze thus breaking the membranes of your cells. So I guess you'd explode at a "micro" scale and freeze at the macro scale (according to phase diagram for water, it freezes at P° and T° both near 0).

    Kids, don't attempt this at home :p
     
  25. Zeke macrumors 6502

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    #25
    Actually, I don't think you would freeze. The water would vaporize since it's initially at 310K and would take a long time to cool to freezing (200K at P=0). Phase changes occur very quickly whereas freezing would take a while. So yes, I think you would explode in a very messy blast of stuff.
     

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