HOMEMADE METEORITE DIG
In this quick and inexpensive tutorial, we are going to show you how to make a Homemade Meteorite Dig for the young Excavating Adventurer in your life to dig into and enjoy. This kit is sure to entertain and excite, is easy to make, and will have your Excavating Adventurers imagination blasting off on an outer space odyssey.
Fun Fact: Meteorites that originate from asteroids are all approximately 4.5 billion years old and meteorites that originate from the Moon range in age from 2.9 to 4.5 billion years old!
Excavating Adventure Pro Tip: Homemade Meteorite Digs are a great addition to any discussion or lesson involving outer space, the Moon, galaxies, asteroids, comets, the solar system and more.
If you are into unique specimens like meteorites, then you will love our Outrageous Rocks Excavating Adventure. This extreme excavation kit will have your exploring glow in the dark snow as you search for real rocks and minerals with out of this world properties. Some rocks may glow, grow crystals, be naturally magnetic, and even float on water!
Plaster of Paris
Popsicle stick, wooden dowels, brushes, magnifying glass, and safety goggles. These will be the excavation tools and safety equipment your Excavating Adventurer will need to explore and enjoy their excavation.
Meteorite – You can purchase real meteorites online but they are not necessary for this excavation activity as we are going to teach you how to make fake meteorites. Be aware that real meteorites (although so worth it!) can be quite expensive so we are going to make our own “meteorites” for this activity.
Aluminum foil - Simply ball up some aluminum foil into tight little balls to make some simulated meteorites. Make about 12 simulated meteorites of different sizes.
Aluminum pie pan - I like the look of the pie pan for this excavation activity but feel free to use any container you have available.
Optional – Black washable paint
Optional - Different sized marbles
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- Place the real meteorite in the center of the pan if you have one. Spread the simulated meteorites around the pan.
- Mix 3 cups sand with 1 cup Plaster of Paris.
- Add 1 cup of water and mix until you have a pancake batter consistency. Feel free to mix in black paint at this time. You are looking to give the mixture a gray color to simulate the color of the surface of the moon.
- Pour the mixture over the meteorites.
- Gently tap the sides on the pie pan to settle and level out the mixture. Allow the mixture to set and firm up for about five minutes. The simulated meteorites will want to float so push them back down into the mixture.
- Make another batch of mixture and pour it into the pan to cover the meteorites.
- Optional – Allow the mixture to dry for another 5 to 8 minutes. Press a marble about one quarter of the way into the excavation to create fun craters in the surface of the Homemade Meteorite Dig. If the crater does not hold its shape, what an extra minute or two and try again. Use the different sized marbles to create different sized craters.
- Place the excavation in front of a fan overnight until it dries completely.
- Once the Homemade Meteorite Dig is ready to be enjoyed, find an area that can get a little messy and be easily cleaned up. Distribute the excavation tools, safety goggles, and let your Excavating Adventurer dig in and have fun exploring the simulated surface of the moon for meteorites.
Excavating Adventures Pro Tip: Know a young Excavating Adventurer that is interested and excited about space? You may want to consider a space themed birthday party. We have numerous space themed excavation ideas that make great birthday party activities. Be sure to check them out as you plan your next outer space birthday celebration.
Celestial Visitors: Fun Facts about Meteorites!
Fun Facts about Meteorites:
Meteorites are rocks that originate from outer space and survive their journey through Earth's atmosphere to land on the planet's surface.
Most meteorites come from asteroids, which are rocky objects orbiting the Sun in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
Meteorites are typically composed of various minerals and metals, such as iron, nickel, and rock-forming minerals like olivine and pyroxene.
When a meteorite enters the Earth's atmosphere, it heats up and produces a streak of light known as a meteor or shooting star.
Not all meteors reach the ground; many burn up completely in the atmosphere, so finding a meteorite is a rare and exciting event.
Meteorites come in different types, including stony meteorites, iron meteorites, and stony-iron meteorites, each with unique characteristics.
Some meteorites have distinct features called "regmaglypts," which are thumbprint-like impressions caused by the intense heating and shaping during atmospheric entry.
Meteorites can range in size from tiny fragments to large rocks weighing several tons.
Studying meteorites provides valuable information about the early Solar System and the processes that formed planets and asteroids.
Meteorites can contain clues about the presence of water and organic molecules, which are essential building blocks of life.
Meteorite impacts have played a significant role in shaping the Earth's geology, creating impact craters and causing geological disturbances.
Discovering a meteorite is like holding a piece of outer space in your hands, making them prized possessions for scientists and collectors alike.
Remember, meteorites are cosmic travelers that hold secrets about the universe, and each one is a fascinating piece of our cosmic puzzle!
Be sure to explore our inexpensive and exciting monthly excavation subscription options. Our fun and educational subscriptions for kids delivers new rocks, minerals, fossils, and more to be discovered, identified, and collected every month. Sign up today and send your child on an awesome Excavating Adventure. Collect up to ten new specimens each month!
Question 1: Where do most meteorites come from? A) The Moon B) Mars C) The asteroid belt D) Comets
Correct answer: C) The asteroid belt
Question 2: What causes the streak of light known as a meteor or shooting star? A) Atmospheric pressure B) Friction with the Earth's atmosphere C) Magnetic fields D) Cosmic radiation
Correct answer: B) Friction with the Earth's atmosphere
Question 3: What valuable information can be obtained by studying meteorites? A) Clues about ancient civilizations B) The composition of Earth's core C) Insights into the formation of the Solar System D) Predictions of future meteor showers
Correct answer: C) Insights into the formation of the Solar System