Have you ever wondered why the moon has craters, or round imprints, on its surface? Or how they got there? Explore this activity to learn more about the moon’s craters!
- Small Metal Baking Pan
- Glitter or Colored Powder
- Newspaper or Tablecloth
- Small Ball
1. Cover your experiment area with newspaper or a tablecloth. This activity can get a little messy.
2. Fill your metal baking pan about halfway with flour.
3. Pour a layer of glitter or colored powder on top of the flour.
4. Make a hypothesis, or guess, about what will happen when you drop the ball in the pan.
5. Hold the ball above the pan and then drop it into the pan. What happens?
6. Carefully remove your ball from the pan and make some observations about the crater that was left in the pan. What happened to the colored layer? What shape is your crater? Does it look like what you thought it would look like?
What’s happening? An asteroid is a small rocky object that orbits the Sun. Once this rocky object enters an atmosphere, it becomes a meteor which can hit the surface of a planet or moon. When a meteor hits the surface of our moon, it leaves these round imprints called craters.
Studying craters helps scientists learn more about the geologic history of planets and moons. They can learn more about what the planets and moons are made of, how they were formed, and even learn about the forces, like gravity and friction, that help shape planets and moons.