Challenge! Space rock hunt

April 13, 2015

Free space rocks science experiment – Miles KellyPlanets and moons aren’t the only things flying around the Solar System. Countless smaller rocks swarm around the Sun too. Most of them are too small and too far away for us to see, even with a telescope, but we know they’re there.

Space rocks fall to Earth every day. They’re called meteorites. Most of them are tiny and harmless. You can look for them with a magnet, using our step-by-step guide.

What you’ll need:

Bucket or bowl
Small plastic bag
Sheet of white paper
Magnifying glass

1. Put a bucket or bowl outside when it rains. If possible, put it under a drain spout from a roof to collect lots of water.
2. When it’s full, take out any debris, like large twigs and leaves, and then carefully pour away most of the water. You should find some fine, dark, dusty dirt at the bottom.
3. Pour the last few drops of water with the dark particles onto a sheet of newspaper, and set the paper aside indoors until it dries.
4. Put a magnet inside a small plastic bag and move it slowly back and forth across the paper. Some of the particles may stick to the outside of the bag.

Space rocks science experiments for kids – Miles Kelly

5. Turn the bag inside out and take away the magnet so the dark dust is now inside the bag. Carefully empty the bag onto a sheet of white paper.
6. Look at the particles through a magnifying glass. You’ve collected micrometeorites – tiny space rocks! Sand, dust and dirt don’t stick to a magnet, but rocks from space do, because they contain iron.

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