Hot air balloon flying over amazing mountains. Isn’t buoyancy awesome?

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Ah, the stately hot air balloon. Not really useful for all that much except for having a grand old time floating around the skies, it’s still a marvel of simple physics. Fill a giant balloon with air. Heat up the air. The balloon goes up. What could be more simple than that?

Not much, actually.

The physics behind a hot air balloon is buoyancy. When heated, the air inside the balloon becomes less dense than the surrounding atmosphere. Less dense things  placed inside of more dense things float, and hence the hot air balloon rises, like an ice cube floating in a glass of water.

To make this floating thing actually happen, there’s of course a lot of cool microphysics going on. The air molecules constantly strike the outside of the balloon in all directions, while the molecules inside the balloon are doing the same thing. Almost magically, all these interactions and bombardments nearly cancel each other out, leaving a slight pushing force that resists gravity and raises the balloon.

The Cygnus A system: a giant black hole in the center blows enormous (as in, tens of thousands of lightyears across) bubbles, as seen in this radio image.

NRAO/AU

This buoyancy happens across the universe on scales small and great. From ice cubes to icebergs, from hot air balloons to some of the largest bubbles in the universe, blown by giant black holes into massive clusters of galaxies.

Clusters of galaxies themselves are some of the largest things in the cosmos, home to a teeming hive of over a thousand individual galaxies spread out over millions of cubic lightyears. And threaded throughout that enormous volume is a hot, thin gas, known delightfully as the intracluster medium.

At the center of most galaxy clusters sits a single massive galaxy, and inside that galaxy sits a gigantic black hole. A real whopper, topping out at millions or even billions of times the mass of the sun. This black hole feeds and eats on the surrounding gas, and as that gas swirls in it compresses and heats up, driving incredibly strong electric and magnetic fields in the maelstrom.

Some of the gas passes into the black hole, never to be seen by the universe again. But some gas whips around the outer surface of the black hole, riding lines of magnetism, spinning up to the poles and blasting out in enormous jets that reach out tens of thousands of lightyears, far beyond the confines of its host galaxy.

As the jet pierces the intracluster medium, it eventually slows down, cools down, and stops, filling the surrounding space with the hot plasma ejected at the base of the jet from near the black hole. Over the course of hundreds of thousands of years, this plasma accumulates, eventually forming a bubble thousands of lightyears across.

This bubble, hotter and less dense than its surroundings, then detaches from the jet and rises into the galaxy cluster before losing coherence and disrupting.

A giant, cosmic hot air balloon.

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(******** )Hot air balloon flying over fantastic mountains. Isn’t buoyancy remarkable?

Getty

Ah, the majestic hot air balloon. Not actually beneficial for all that much other than for having a grand old time drifting around the skies, it’s still a marvel of easy physics. Fill a huge balloon with air. Warm up the air. The balloon increases. What could be more easy than that?

Very little, really.

The physics behind a hot air balloon is buoyancy. When warmed, the air inside the balloon ends up being less thick than the surrounding environment. Less thick things put within more thick things drift, and for this reason the hot air balloon increases, like an ice drifting in a glass of water.

To make this drifting thing really take place, there’s naturally a great deal of cool microphysics going on. The air particles continuously strike the beyond the balloon in all instructions, while the particles inside the balloon are doing the exact same thing. Practically amazingly, all these interactions and barrages almost cancel each other out, leaving a small pressing force that withstands gravity and raises the balloon.

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The Cygnus A system: a huge great void in the center blows massive( as in, 10s of countless lightyears throughout) bubbles, as seen in this radio image.

NRAO/AU

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This buoyancy takes place throughout deep space on scales little and fantastic. From ice to icebergs, from hot air balloons to a few of the biggest bubbles in deep space, blown by huge great voids into enormous clusters of galaxies.

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Clusters of galaxies themselves are some of the biggest things in the universes, house to a bursting hive of over a thousand specific galaxies expanded over countless cubic lightyears. And threaded throughout that massive volume is a hot, thin gas, understood wonderfully as the intracluster medium

At the center of the majority of galaxy clusters sits a single enormous galaxy, and inside that galaxy sits an enormous great void. A genuine whopper, peaking at millions and even billions of times the mass of the sun. This great void feeds and consumes on the surrounding gas, and as that gas swirls in it compresses and warms up, driving extremely strong electrical and electromagnetic fields in the maelstrom.

A few of the gas enters the great void, never ever to be seen by the universe once again. However some gas whips around the external surface area of the great void, riding lines of magnetism, spinning approximately the poles and blasting out in massive jets that connect 10s of countless lightyears, far beyond the boundaries of its host galaxy.

As the jet pierces the intracluster medium, it ultimately decreases, cools off, and stops, filling the surrounding area with the hot plasma ejected at the base of the jet from near the great void. Throughout numerous countless years, this plasma builds up, ultimately forming a bubble countless lightyears throughout.

This bubble, hotter and less thick than its environments, then removes from the jet and increases into the galaxy cluster prior to losing coherence and interfering with.

A giant, cosmic hot air balloon.

” readability =”77″ >

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Hot air balloon flying over fantastic mountains. Isn’t buoyancy remarkable?

Getty

.

.

Ah, the majestic hot air balloon. Not actually beneficial for all that much other than for having a grand old time drifting around the skies, it’s still a marvel of easy physics. Fill a huge balloon with air. Warm up the air. The balloon increases. What could be more easy than that?

Very little, really.

The physics behind a hot air balloon is buoyancy. When warmed, the air inside the balloon ends up being less thick than the surrounding environment. Less thick things put within more thick things drift, and for this reason the hot air balloon increases, like an ice drifting in a glass of water.

To make this drifting thing really take place, there’s naturally a great deal of cool microphysics going on. The air particles continuously strike the beyond the balloon in all instructions, while the particles inside the balloon are doing the exact same thing. Practically amazingly, all these interactions and barrages almost cancel each other out, leaving a small pressing force that withstands gravity and raises the balloon.

.

.

The Cygnus A system: a huge great void in the center blows massive (as in, 10s of countless lightyears throughout) bubbles, as seen in this radio image.

NRAO/AU

.

.

This buoyancy takes place throughout deep space on scales little and fantastic. From ice to icebergs, from hot air balloons to a few of the biggest bubbles in deep space, blown by huge great voids into enormous clusters of galaxies.

Clusters of galaxies themselves are a few of the biggest things in the universes, house to a bursting hive of over a thousand specific galaxies expanded over countless cubic lightyears. And threaded throughout that massive volume is a hot, thin gas, understood wonderfully as the intracluster medium

.

At the center of the majority of galaxy clusters sits a single enormous galaxy, and inside that galaxy sits an enormous great void. A genuine whopper, peaking at millions and even billions of times the mass of the sun. This great void feeds and consumes on the surrounding gas, and as that gas swirls in it compresses and warms up, driving extremely strong electrical and electromagnetic fields in the maelstrom.

A few of the gas enters the great void, never ever to be seen by the universe once again. However some gas whips around the external surface area of the great void, riding lines of magnetism, spinning approximately the poles and blasting out in massive jets that connect 10s of countless lightyears, far beyond the boundaries of its host galaxy.

As the jet pierces the intracluster medium, it ultimately decreases, cools off, and stops, filling the surrounding area with the hot plasma ejected at the base of the jet from near the great void. Throughout numerous countless years, this plasma builds up, ultimately forming a bubble countless lightyears throughout.

This bubble, hotter and less thick than its environments, then removes from the jet and increases into the galaxy cluster prior to losing coherence and interfering with.

A giant, cosmic hot air balloon.

.