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On Earth, pouring a fizzy drink into a glass or opening a bottle, you see the gas start to condense out into bubbles which rise upwards.

You can't pour a Coke into a glass on the ISS but you could (I assume) unscrew a bottle and remove the lid if you're careful.

What would happen in terms of bubbles? And by extension when you see this phenomenon on Earth, why do the bubbles go straight up - due to gravity directly or simply because the lower pressure is (due to gravity) at the top of the bottle?

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  • $\begingroup$ I wanted to add "weightles-environment" as a new tag but am not allowed. Is there a new tag appropriate for this topic because I couldn't find ones that fit well? $\endgroup$ – Mr. Boy Jan 6 '15 at 23:04
  • $\begingroup$ my guess is that it would behave like a rocket $\endgroup$ – Phoenix87 Jan 6 '15 at 23:08
  • $\begingroup$ I'm meaning how would the gas behave in relation to the liquid, rather than what happens after. You can hold the bottle in place and my main question - where do the bubbles go - stands. Sorry not to see that detail $\endgroup$ – Mr. Boy Jan 6 '15 at 23:15
  • $\begingroup$ My guess would be that the gas will still want to condense out of the liquid, once you've opened the bottle and the pressure drops; however, as there is no gravity, the gas would probably just accumulate in a layer on the inner surfaces of the bottle. You'd probably get some fluid being pushed out of the bottle, due to the expansion of the gas (presumably a mixture of liquid and gas). $\endgroup$ – Time4Tea Jan 6 '15 at 23:17
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The liquid would float around in globs, and the bubbles would fizz out indiscriminately from all the surfaces of the globs.

Water molecules are attracted to each other, but the carbon dioxide isn't really attracted to the water. The bubbles would therefore escape from the surface by diffusion, so it would take longer than if there were gravity.

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Apparently, according to this guy, the bubbles in the fizzy drink will remain in suspension inside the liquid, as there is no top direction for them to go. Remember in a no gravity environment there is nothing to discriminate between left and right or top and bottom.

Also, NASA has the same thing to say about the matter.

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The volume of the fizzy drink would increase and squirt out the opening of the bottle.

Small pockets of gas would be expanding inside the liquid. Normally they'd expand outward and the liquid would stick together and the bubbles would pop out an edge (probably taking some globs of liquid along). But in the bottle all the expansion will just move a liquid with still expanding gas bubbles out the top.

Initially it may not look all that different than an overflowing pop bottle in gravity.

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