What Happens When You Wring A Soaking Wet Wash Towel In Space

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chris hadfield
Chris Hadfield | Canadian Space Agency

Col. Chris Hadfield is a Canadian astronaut. The first to operate the Canadarm, walk in space, and command the International Space Station. Sometimes he’s even known to strum a tune. He likes space flight, water-skiing, flying, scuba diving, playing guitar and bass in Max Q and Bandella. You can even socialize with him on Facebook.

In this video he will show you the power of gravity and what happens when water – the so simple, ordinary and well known thing on earth – interacts with space and – apparently, without gravitation.

He took a soaking wet wash towel in space and started to wring it out. What happened next is so stunning and amazing that you won’t stop watching it over and over again. But let’s go back a bit to understand the basics.

What’s gravity?

“Also called gravitation, it is a force that exists among all material objects in the universe. For any two objects or particles having non-zero mass, the force of gravity tends to attract them toward each other. Gravity operates on objects of all sizes, from subatomic particles to clusters of galaxies. It also operates over all distances, no matter how small or great”.
(Source: TechTarget)

chris hadfield wring towel wet in space
Chris Hadfield | Canadian Space Agency

Is there gravity in space?

There is gravity everywhere. The weightless feeling that astronauts experience in space doesn’t mean that there’s no gravitation. That feeling actually has to do with their position compared to their spaceship. Since there’s no floor or ground stopping us from falling (attracted by Earth gravity that is pulling us down), and given the fact that the ship in orbit and the astronauts are falling at the same speed – slowly – to Earth, the astronauts don’t press against anything. This gives them that feeling of weightless (and no gravity).
(Source: Space.com)

So what happens when you wring a wet towel in space?

It starts to become a tube of water. It wrings out of the cloth into your hands. Like a kind of “X-man”, you can keep the water all stuck around your skin, as if you have some gelatin on your hands. And what about the towel? “It doesn’t really unravel itself and stays there floating like a dog’s chew toy, soaking wet!”

All of this thanks to the gravitation and its properties. Witness this astonishing experiment with your own eyes: watch this video and enjoy it.

More contributions and “adventures” from Col Chris Hadfield? You can visit his official website.

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