What do you do when NASA asks you to push the boundaries of human spaceflight by spending more time on board the International Space Station than anyone before you — 365 consecutive days to be exact?
You make green, exploding space balls:
Astronauts have played around with floating spheres of water and effervescent tablets on the ISS numerous times, but this video starring astronaut Scott Kelly and his ball of changing colors is exceptional. That’s because it is one of the first space videos that NASA has shot in 4K ultra-high definition (UHD).
Next to the 8K UHD, 4K UHD is the highest-resolution viewing experience you can get — it’s four times the definition that your standard 1080p HD television can offer.
And right now, NASA is testing and evaluating these cameras to learn how they can be used to improve scientific experiments and analysis in space. And it seems that astronaut Kelly — who has five more months left in his one-year stay on the ISS — doesn’t mind giving a helping hand:
“The higher resolution images and higher frame rate videos can reveal more information when used on science investigations, giving researchers a valuable new tool aboard the space station,” NASA explained in a description of the video astronaut Scott Kelly recently took on board the ISS.
Astronaut Kelly’s video isn’t just beautiful; it highlights different colors, textures, and movements that demonstrate the high-resolution camera’s awesome capabilities.
You can see individual pockets of water explode off the surface after the effervescent tablet has dissolved.
That’s because as the tablet dissolves, it generates bubbles of carbon-dioxide gas inside the water that would normally rise to the surface of a glass on Earth — but in space they move to the outer edges of the sphere, expanding in size until the bubbles pop and fling bits of water everywhere.
Check out the full video on YouTube or below — and make sure to change the video’s quality settings to “2160p 4K”