Every single day countless numbers of meteorites have been falling to the Earth. Why haven’t you seen them laying around? You don’t usually notice them because, by the time they land, they’re about the size of small pebbles.
This is more of a collection than an experiment, although you can certainly use meteorites in an experiment due to the difference in their properties.
Here’s What You’ll Need:
- Flat open space – You’ll want to find an open area such as a field to try and locate your meteorites. This is a space with no trees in the way. If you live in the city, go to a park that has few trees and no large buildings around it.
- A large piece of white paper
- A magnifying glass
- A magnet
What To Do:
Choose a day that is dry. This means a day that has little to no chance of precipitation. You don’t want it to be windy either. So choose a day that is both calm and dry.
Put your paper on the ground in an area where it won’t be disturbed. Make sure that there is clear open sky above.
Leave the paper for about 6 to 8 hours. The longer that you leave the paper lying there, the better your chances of collecting meteorites. It’s not a bad idea to weight the paper down, just in case of a random gust of wind or breeze. Placing a large rock in the center is the best option as anything that hits your paper will slide down toward the middle where the rock is located.
When the time comes to collect your paper, do so gently and fold the paper up at the edges so that any captured material stays in the center and doesn’t fall out.
Now, use the magnet and run it along the underside of your white paper. You might need to run it back and forth a few times so that it picks up as many metallic particles as it can.
With the magnet still firmly up against the paper, tip the paper gently to let the dust and dirt slide off and allowing the metal particles to stay attached to the magnet.
Dark particles with pitted surfaces are likely what you’re going to be left with. If they’re super small, try placing them under a microscope to get a great look at what you’ve collected. Chances are great that you’ve collected micrometeorites!
There isn’t too much out there that discusses micrometeorites in a way most of us can understand, but here are three that look interesting …