Fragile Oasis

Connecting Space and Earth: Learn. Act. Make a Difference.
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In My Spare Time: A Weekend With A Freezer

I asked if I could use one of the research freezers for a weekend during my off-duty time.

I made thin sheets of water (sort of like a soap film without the soap), about 1 mm thick and froze them. Then I looked at the ice under polarized light using the laptop display as the light source for one direction of polarized light and a filter I just happened to have in my personal kit to make “crossed polarizers”. [Note: links to PDF]

When the ice sheets were placed between the filter and the laptop screen the crystal structure became vividly visible.

I do not know at this time if the crystal structure is any different than normal ice but I will find out.

Meanwhile, we were unloading the supplies from Dragon.

Editor's Note: You can also enjoy many of Don's Fragile Oasis blog posts on the NASA website and the Smithsonian's Air and Space website.