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Collecting micrometeoritesFeatured science projectScience project video

Abstract

This science fair project was performed to find the best way of collecting and observing micrometeorites. The samples were collected from a roof, the leaf of an outdoor plant and rain water.

Hypothesis

The dust collected from all the locations will contain some micrometeorites.
 

Scientific Terms

Meteors, atmosphere, friction, micrometeorites, solar system

Background

Meteor and micrometeorites

Meteors are small rocks that are found in space. Sometimes, these rocks enter our atmosphere and they appear to us as shooting stars in the night sky. This happens because as they enter our atmosphere, they accelerate due to gravity. Friction causes the meteoroid’s surface to become hot, thereby lighting it up.

Most of the meteors are small and burn up in our atmosphere before reaching the ground. However, some big enough to leave craters on the surface of our planet upon impact. Many of such craters can be seen on the surface of the moon. Most meteors are made up of rocks and metals.

Micrometeorites are very tiny rock particles that weigh less then a gram. They are normally metallic and originate from broken debris from a larger rock. Most of them date back to the origins of the solar system. Some micrometeorites are so small that they remain afloat in our atmosphere. They eventually combine with rain droplets and reach our planet surface together with the rain.
 

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Complexity level:
4
Project cost ($):
20
Time required:
1 day for preparation, 3 hours for this science fair project experiment
Material availability:
You will need a microscope for this experiment. Check with your school's science laboratory
Safety concerns:

None