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Three..Two..One..Blast Off !

When the world goes exploring beyond Earth’s starry horizons why be left behind? These 3 space-y experiments will make you want to meet the Martians and surf the waves of beautiful galaxies.

Today we will be seeing how the craters of the moon are made , what is a nebula , can we catch it and keep it with us and to complete our space mission we will make a shiny planet suncatcher ! So let’s buckle in and let the countdown begin!

Hello Mr. Moon

From nursery rhymes to deep poetry the moon is a constant source of admiration . Let us see how it came to look the way it does by creating our own moon craters !

What you need

7- 8 tbsp Maida / flour , 7-8 tbsp cocoa powder / dry mud , a few pebbles of different sizes , tray , spoon

How to do it

  1. In the tray add the maida to make a white layer 1 cm thick as the base. It shouldn’t be sparse , make sure the whole surface is covered with maida .
  2. Next add the mud or cocoa powder on top of the maida to make the next layer . This layer should be very thin but must cover the maida completely.
  3. Once both your layers are made grab the pebbles and one at a time throw them at the tray with sufficient force .
  4. You will notice the pebbles will bounce off but will leave a circular shape in the mud revealing the maida layer below.
  5. Have fun throwing the pebbles as hard as you can .How many craters did you make ?

What happened there

The maida and mud layer act as the surface of the moon and the pebbles we throw at them act like the asteroids and comets that float in space.Travelling at high speeds they would hit the surface of the moon and bounce away. Due to the collision , a big circular mark in the surface would be left which we call as craters or impact craters.

Lightyears away

We’re so used to seeing the tiny twinkling dots up in the night sky that we forget that they are actually giant balls of light blazing continuously .Even though we are lightyears away we still see their bright burn … let us capture the beauty of these gas giants by making a nebula in a jar !

What you need

A transparent container – a glass or plastic jar , cotton , Blue and Red colour  ( food colours or poster paints ) , water, 2 bowls , spoon , glitter , tiny stars and space stickers (optional).

How to do it

  1. Take 2 bowls and fill them with water three-fourths full. Add a few drops of blue colour to the first bowl and  few drops of red to the second bowl. Mix well .
  2. Add a pinch of glitter to each bowl of coloured water .
  3. Now take a thick section of cotton and tease it with your fingers to expand it . Add it to your jar to make a layer of cotton at the base .The cotton should be at least half a centimetre thick .
  4. Now using your spoon add the blue colour water till the cotton is completely drenched in the blue colour .
  5. Add another layer of cotton on top and add red coloured water to this layer .
  6. Now sprinkle some glitter on the inside walls of the container
  7. Add red and blue cotton layers till the container is full. Make sure the water isn’t spilling out the top and close the lid.
  8. Decorate the outside with space stickers if you wish and Voila! your nebula in a jar is ready !!

What happened there

A nebula is a giant cloud of dust and gas in space. Some nebulae (more than one nebula) come from the gas and dust thrown out by the explosion of a dying star, such as a supernova. Other nebulae are regions where new stars are beginning to form. So nebulas are closely connected to the birth of stars and  thus we captured the essence of how stars are formed by creating our very own nebulas ! You can use multiple different colours to make colourful nebula jars  as well !

Rock is life

Planets are simply big rocks with their own environments . Some planets like ours are very special because they’ve given rise to living organisms and sustained that life for long periods of time . Thus planets have become more dear to us than other celestial bodies because our planet is our home ! Let us make some sparkly planet suncatchers and say thank you to all the beautiful planets in our solar system ….

What you need

White planet print outs , cotton , oil pastels, 2 tbsp oil , thread , scissors and  tape

Note : The planet print outs should be suitable for coloring in. They should not be dark or shaded and must have only the essential outlines of the planet .

How to do it

  1. Select a planet . e.g Saturn and start to colour it in using your oil pastels. You can make it as colourful as you like
  2. Once you are done coloring it, take a small piece of cotton and dip it in the oil. Squeeze out the excess.
  3. Now dab the colored regions with the cotton.Once the whole picture has a sheen of oil ,stop dabbing and leave to dry.
  4. Once the oil has dried attach a long piece of thread to your planet and hang it near your window or balcony . Once the sunlight hits, watch the colours dazzle !

What happened there

Oil pastels are made of pigments solubilised in oil . When we add oil on top of them we allow them to blend more making their colour appear brighter. The excess oil they absorb also makes the picture more reflective .So when the light hits, our suncatchers look beautiful and sparkly !

Good job space cadets ! this mission was a success ..We’ll see you on the next mission ahead!.

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