April 15th, 2013
11:45 AM ET

What happens if you cry in space?

By Matthew Abshire, CNN

Crying probably isn’t on the top of the list of official experiments being explored on the International Space Station, but that doesn’t stop astronaut Chris Hadfield from demonstrating the phenomenon of human tears in space.

The Canadian ISS commander recently took time to answer a question he says he commonly receives: What happens to your tears when you cry in space? Hadfield's video demonstration will make the inner nerd in you shout with glee.

Hadfield uses a bottle of drinking water to place droplets in his eyes and then proceeds to blink and move around. He shows off this bizarre reality: Tears don't fall in space.

Check out the video to see what happens. Trust me, you’ll understand why Hadfield says that if you’re going to cry in space, bring a hankie.

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Filed under: In Space • People in Orbit
April 12th, 2013
03:50 PM ET

Scientists explore 'dark lightning'

By Matthew Abshire, CNN

Just when you thought being struck by lightning couldn’t get any more terrifying, there's this:

Researchers at the Florida Institute of Technology are investigating what is being dubbed “dark lightning,” using computer models. This invisible phenomenon is not some cosmic event happening millions of light years from us, but actually occurs within storm clouds in our atmosphere at altitudes low enough for a commercial airliner to pass through.

CNN’s Chad Myers points out the real danger with “dark lightning” is not from a traditional bolt of energy, but an unleashing of exponentially high amounts of X-rays and gamma rays.


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Filed under: Climate • On Earth
March 13th, 2012
11:41 AM ET

New Challenger explosion video surfaces

Rummaging through old storage boxes, Jeffrey Ault uncovered a Super 8 film he hadn't seen in more than 25 years. Just weeks after the release of a rare home video of the Challenger explosion from a nearby airport, Ault unveiled his own film from that day.

An avid space enthusiast, the then-19-year-old recorded the horrific event from the Kennedy Space Center viewing site. Unlike the two other known home videos, his view was very close, less than 10 miles from the launch site.

"The anticipation was building - everything leading up to the launch was just an incredible feeling," Ault told CNN affiliate WESH. But as for many who witnessed that day, his excitement soon turned to heartbreak. "As the seconds went on, and you realized these two trails were going off and you saw debris falling, and you just knew something was wrong."

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Filed under: In Space


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