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Cosmonaut snaps ice crystal formed on ISS window, but nobody knows how it formed

A peculiar sight on the International Space Station (ISS) has some wondering about the station’s legitimacy. Sergey Korsakov, a Russian astronaut, shot a photograph of an ice crystal growing on one of the ISS’s windows for the first time ever, and it has since gone popular on social media.

The window belongs to the ISS’s Russian module. The module’s window pane is made up of several panes. There are two panes: one exterior and one inside, separated by a vacuum. Users are expressing their confusion about how the frost imprints on the window were formed. Sergey posted the picture on Twitter and wrote, ‘Space frostwork on the Space Station window’.

The photograph has generated a lot of debate among people and scientists alike since it was uploaded. Some explanation managed to emerge among the intellectual commotion. ‘The feature seems to have most ice at the borders of the circle – this suggests the formation mechanism is acting equally from all sides, reaches a threshold to form ice at the circle edge, and then all water vapour is depleted before it gets to the middle’, Dr James Lea, glaciologist, University of Liverpool, in an interview with IFLScience said.

According to Dr Lea’s explanation, the completely round form is still unclear, however, it may be the consequence of a temperature gradient in the glass. Another issue that has to be well understood is the window’s characteristics.

The glass pane was under ROSCOSMOS’s control, according to IFLScience, thus the ISS crew members from NASA, ESA, and JAXA were silent about the occurrence and made no comments.


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