Making Craters

This is a great activity for learning about how craters form. Did you know the surface of the moon has millions of craters, varying from just a few metres across to hundreds of kilometres.?

What you need:

A shallow metal pan

Plain white flour

drinking chocolate

marbles and different sized balls.

Instructions

  • Fill the pan about 2 cm deep with flour, lightly sprinkle the drinking chocolate to cover the entire surface.
  • To make a model of the surface of the moon, drop the marbles into the pan, the marbles act as the crashing asteroids and comets.
  • Notice how the marbles make craters in the pan. The soil below the surface ( white flour ) is brought to the surface.
  • Try with different sizes and weights of balls and see if the craters are deeper or different shapes.

The Science bit

The surface of the moon is marked by millions of craters, some are just a few metres long and some hundreds of kilometres. Most formed a long time ago when comets, asteroids and meteorites crashed into the moon’s surface.

You should find that if you drop the same size marbles from different heights the one that has furthest to fall will make the largest crater as it is moving faster, it has more energy.

 

Do you have any space creations to share?

You can find more space themed activities here.

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