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Watch a floating green ball of water effervesce in space in glorious 4K

Take a ball of water in microgravity. Add coloured dye and an effervescent tablet. Film the fascinating results.

Alien egg or NASA experiment? Video screenshot by Michelle Starr/CNET

NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station are currently testing a 4K camera to film science experiments. In practical terms, this will mean that the recordings, at a higher frame rate and in higher resolution than normal HD camera, offer up more information to researchers reviewing the recordings.

It also means some very fun and interesting videos.

In the most recent of these, astronaut Scott Kelly, who is part of NASA's crew spending a year in space rather than the standard six months to gauge the effects on the body of a long-term Mars mission, is playing with water.

More specifically, he has a globule of water, to which he is adding things and filming the effects. In microgravity, water floats in the air as quivering blobs, which makes for some experiments the astronauts seem to find really fun, such as popping water balloons, or injecting air bubbles and seeing how the water moves.

In July, NASA astronaut Terry Virts inserted an effervescent tablet into a ball of water to observe it dissolve and release gases inside the water and into the air.

In Kelly's experiment, he switches it up a little. First, he creates the water globule, then he adds what looks like blue and yellow food dye to colour the water an algae green. Finally, he adds effervescent tablets, which causes the green globule to bubble and distort as the tablet rapidly breaks down, creating carbon dioxide.

The RED Epic Dragon 4K camera has also been used in the production of films, such as Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit" trilogy.

"This is a huge leap in camera technology for spaceflight," said program manager for NASA's Imagery Experts Program Rodney Grubbs of the camera in July.

"These cameras have large sensors capable of very high-resolution imaging at high frame rates. It is like having a high speed 35MM motion picture film camera, but it is compact, can use lenses we already have up there, and it is digital. No film to return to Earth."

You can watch Kelly perform his experiment in the video below. Turn it up to 2160p for the full 4K experience.