You haven't forgotten how amazing flames on the International Space Station are, right? We've got yet another peek at amorphous jellyfish of flames in microgravity, and they're still beautiful.

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Image credit: NASA/ESA/Alexander Gerst

These photographs were taken during the Burning and Suppression of Solids (BASS) combustion experiments on the International Space Station. The experiment involves burning various types of fuel in microgravity, observing the flame's characteristics, then extinguishing the flame while recording the extinction characteristics.

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Image credit: NASA/ESA/Alexander Gerst

We've seen everything from perfect spheres to scooting jellyfish with the photos sent home, but the common theme tying them together is their ethereal beauty, a fleeting moment captured by a camera-wielding astronaut. In a bit of cosmic suitability, this particular round of BASS tests was conducted by the European Space Agency's Alex Gerst, who used to volunteer as a fireman before becoming an astronaut.

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Alex Gerst: astronaut, geophysicist, firefighter. Image credit: NASA/ESA

The experiments into flame dynamics in microgravity have obvious utility for the astronauts living in the fragile and isolated environment, but also increase our understanding of fire to improve safety on Earth. The results are used to improve computer models of combustion. The models are used in turn to design fire detection and suppression systems.

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