Weird Science: Kitchen Meteor Impact - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Weird Science: Kitchen Meteor Impact

Things you need:

· Whoppers

· A tray or a shallow pan

· Flour

· Cocoa powder

The Experiment:

To keep things clean, you should either do this experiment outside, or line the area underneath the pan with newspaper. Fill the pan with a layer of flour about one inch thick. It helps to sift the flour to put some air into it. Then sift a thin layer of cocoa powder on top of the flour. Try dropping the Whoppers from different heights into the pan and see what happens to the flour and powder. Try dropping the Whoppers at different angles in the pan to see what happens.

 How does it work?

What you've just done is simulate a meteorite strike impacting the Earth. The flour represents the Earth and the cocoa powder represents the topsoil. The Whopper is the meteorite. The Whopper ends up deep down in the flour and the flour gets thrown up on top of the cocoa powder around the hole (crater). The kinetic energy gained as the Whopper falls to the pan is like the kinetic energy gained by meteorite as it falls to the Earth. Some of that kinetic energy becomes sound, some of it becomes heat, and a lot of it gets transferred to the surrounding earth, throwing it up into the air and out of the way. When you throw the Whopper into the pan at an angle, all the flour get pushed in the direction the Whopper was thrown in, because that's the direction the kinetic energy is moving. Meteors fly through our atmosphere at about 20,000 miles per hour, which means they have an extremely large amount of energy. When they impact the Earth, it's like a nuclear bomb exploding!

Definitions:

A meteoroid is a sand- to boulder-sized particle of debris in the Solar System. The visible path of a meteoroid that enters Earth's (or another body's) atmosphere is called a meteor, or colloquially a shooting star or falling star. If a meteor reaches the ground and survives impact, then it is called a meteorite. Many meteors appearing seconds or minutes apart are called a meteor shower. The root word meteor comes from the Greek meteôros, meaning "high in the air". (Wikipedia)

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