NASA Produces Rare, Exotic Matter in Space

And it's really, really, inhumanly cold.

Astronaut
American kids no longer want to grow up to be astronauts. (NASA/ Getty)
By Diana Crandall / August 7, 2018 10:14 am

NASA has reportedly produced “the fifth, exotic state of matter in space,” according to Live Science. The matter was created by cooling “a cloud of rubidium atoms to ten-millionth of a degree above absolute zero,” the outlet reports, and notes that it’s “the coldest object we know of in space.”

It still can’t hold an ice cube to the coldest object or matter ever created by human beings — that reportedly took place in an MIT lab.

A quantum physics machine called “The Cold Atom Lab” (CAL), which was built to function in the International Space Station, is reportedly responsible for creating the “Bose-Einstein condensates.”

“Typically, BEC experiments involve enough equipment to fill a room and require near-constant monitoring by scientists, whereas CAL is about the size of a small refrigerator and can be operated remotely from Earth,” experiment leader Robert Shotwell, who works from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in the statement.

It’s unclear what exactly NASA is planning to do with this freezing matter, but it’s an unfathomable achievement, nonetheless.

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