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Experiments

Meteorite Beach

What You Need:

• A beach
• Magnet
• A ziplock bag
• Food coloring
• A magnifying glass (optional)


Tip: Shooting stars are known as meteoroids when they are in the sky. They’re called meteorites when they hit Earth.


Question: How can you collect meteorites at the beach?

 

1. First, put the magnet inside the ziplock bag.

2. Then, drag the bag along the beach.

3. Tiny metallic particles will collect on the outside of the bag.

4. Now, turn the bag inside out. Congratulations! You’ve just collected meteorites that have landed here from outer space!

5. If you have a magnifying glass, examine your space dust. What do you see?


A Scientific Explanation:

Because meteorites are made mostly of iron, they can be collected with a magnet. While not all the metal at the beach comes from meteorites, scientists say that 20 percent of the metal on Earth has come from outer space.


EXTRA! EXTRA!

You can check that the particles you collected are meteorites by looking closely at them with a magnifying glass. A meteorite will be the shape of a round sphere. Meteorites become perfectly round when they fall through Earth’s atmosphere.