activities: section 8
Build Your Own Comet
Dr. Dennis Schatz, Pacific Science Center
Students may assist leaders in constructing a comet of dry ice and dirt. The model can then be used to demonstrate why comets have tails and why the tail always points away from the sun, sublimation, orbits of comets, and concepts of radiation pressure and solar wind.
Make a Comet Model and Eat It! (Edible Comets)
Using what we think we know about comets, students create an edible model. One sample is given to another research team to determine its structure and composition.
Comet on a Stick-Modeling a Comet in Flight
Students use a model of comet and solar winds to consider the influence of the Sun on comets. Students consider the strengths and weaknesses of this model.
Aerogel is a silica dioxide gel with the lowest density solid known used on STARDUST to collect comet and interstellar dust particles. Students simulate and observe the collection of particles substituting gelatin for the aerogel. We use the candy Nerds instead of the metal pellets suggested in the activity.
Note: The activity is part three of Technology for Studying Comets.