😻🏈🚀📋 #Repost @explorenasa -- Student intern Joe Burces at NASA’s Ames Research Center observes football in a fluid dynamics chamber.
Aerodynamics is the study of how air and liquids, referred to collectively as "fluids," flow around objects. By understanding how fluids flow around basic shapes such as cylinders and spheres, NASA's engineers predict how even minor alterations in these basic shapes change flow patterns and possibly make aircraft more Earth-friendly or help a spacecraft take the most efficient route to Mars.
With NASA's Ames Research Center located less than ten miles from the home of Super Bowl 50 – Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, – its aerodynamics researchers took the opportunity in 2016 to connect their science to something more unexpected: sports balls.
The way air moves around different shapes plays a significant role in the flight of all sports balls. What is the best way to throw a football? Why does a curve ball curve, why does it knuckle? Researchers can demonstrate the science behind these complex questions using relatively simple visualizations of fluids flowing over sports balls in small test facilities at Ames.
Complementing the large and high-speed wind tunnels at Ames, small wind tunnels and water channels used for quick tests provide controlled environments where fluids at known speeds can flow over a stationary test item – in this case a sports ball. With smoke, lasers or brightly colored dyes inserted in the fluid flow, patterns of smoothness and disturbance appear, making the usually invisible aerodynamics around the items brilliantly visible.
Credits: NASA Ames / Dominic Hart #Superbowl #aerodynamics #science #NASA #football #Ames #explore #sports #fluid #speed #dye #color #research #cool