FlipFact of the Day: It’s often said that space is extremely cold. (In reality, it’s the thin gas in space that’s cold. Technically, space itself doesn’t have a temperature, but the things in it, like space debris and the aforementioned gas, do.) Thus, one can’t be faulted for thinking that if an astronaut were to bring a glass of water into space, it would freeze.
Well, space is also a pressureless vacuum. If you were to suddenly drop the pressure in the environment around liquid water, it would boil in a rather violent manner. So if a glass of water with a given fixed temperature were exposed to space, the sudden pressure drop would boil the water almost instantly.
It doesn’t end there, though. When the water boils, it turns into vapor, and as the gas molecules leave the liquid, the temperature goes down. This, in turn, causes the liquid to freeze. Pretty cool, isn’t it?
Watch an experiment that simulates this effect:
Today’s Science History Milestone: On August 19,1960, Korabl-Sputnik 2 (also known in the West as Sputnik 5) was launched into Earth orbit. It was the first spacecraft to send live animals (including two dogs named Strelka and Belka, a rabbit, and rats) into orbit and return them safely back to Earth.
Still remember your 5th-grade science classes? Test your knowledge and see if you still remember these facts and fundamental concepts in human anatomy, biology, botany, and other branches of science. Click here to try the “Are You Smarter Than A Pinoy Fifth-Grader” Challenge.
Follow the hashtag #FlipFacts on Facebook and Instagram to get your daily dose of science trivia!
Cover: U.S. Defense Department’s Defense Media Activity
Author: Mikael Angelo Francisco
Bitten by the science writing bug, Mikael has years of writing and editorial experience under his belt. As the editor-in-chief of FlipScience, Mikael has sworn to help make science more fun and interesting for geeky readers and casual audiences alike.