PUBLISHED: 14:04 GMT, 22 April 2012 | UPDATED: 19:44 GMT, 22 April 2012
This video shows the fruits of his labours, while he talks through his mini experiment, telling the camera: ‘I’m just playing right now… I wanna make one big bubble.’
‘Now,’ he says, ‘let me show you something wild’. Pettit injects a third bubble into the centre which bounces around within the rim.
He excitedly says: ‘Oh look at that… a droplet with bubbles inside of a bubble in the water… Oh wow!’
The small droplet rotates around the shell, with lots of tiny bubbles emerging in the centre. ‘That’s where I would go if I was a bubble,’ Pettit says.
He injects some water into the space between the outer bubble and the one inside it, causing the smaller one to rotate.
Using lasers he shows the movement of the bubble with the coloured light reflecting off the different layers of bubble.
‘Now I have to figure out what it all means,’ he says.
Pettit is currently on the International Space Station as a member of the Expedition 30 crew, where he will remain until May.
He spent more than five and half months on board the station during Expedition 6 in 2002 and 2003, returning to space during STS-126 in 2008. While there he gathered quite a fan base with video demonstrations such as the Zero G Coffee Cup.
Off the back of his viral success, NASA and the American Physical Society have launched a partnership to share videos from the orbiting outpost with students, educators and science fans around the world.
Astronauts like Pettit use everyday objects from Earth to demonstrate physics through ‘Science off the Sphere’ presentations, posing questions for viewers at the end of the clips.
At the end of the bubbles video, Pettit asks: ‘When the water sphere rotates why do the bubbles centre themselves?’
It really is a lesson from outer space!
Bubble in a bubble Video on you tube
A bubble inside a bubble inside a bubble… Astronaut films fascinating anti-gravity experiments from the space station | Mail Online.