BEAUTY OF SCIENCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BEAUTY OF SCIENCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Thermographic footage looking down on the surface of boiling water, as it is heated from below. Thermography shows the heat of objects, with brighter areas being hotter. The water's surface shows a pattern of convection cells, where hot, less dense water rises to the surface, cools and spreads out before sinking. This is an example of Rayleigh-Bénard convection, and it occurs whenever a liquid is heated from below. A similar process is seen on the surface of the Sun, where the cells of rising hot plasma form a pattern called granulation.
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