8A80.10 - Make a Comet

Code Number:
8A80.10
Demo Title:
Make a Comet
Condition:
Good
Area of Study:
Astronomy
Equipment:
Thick Gloves, Safety Glasses, Dry Ice, Insulated Container to Hold Dry Ice, Hammer to Crush Dry Ice, Large Plastic Bowl, Large Garbage Bags, Heat Lamp, and Supplies to Create Comets.
Procedure:

Pick a recipe and try it out.  I like that NASA JPL Recipe.  Watch the NASA JPL "Create a Comet with Dry Ice" video below for a tutorial.

These are some good solutions:

1.  NASA JPL Recipe:

  • 5 lbs of Dry Ice
  • 1 L of Water
  • Around 2 Cups of Dirt
  • 1 Tbsp or Less of Starch
  • 1 Tbsp or Less of Dark Corn Syrup or Soda
  • 1 Tbsp or Less of Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp or Less of Rubbing Alcohol

2.  Dennis Schatz:

  • 2 Cups of Water
  • 2 Cups of Dry Ice
  • 2 Spoonfuls of Sand or Dirt
  • A Dash of Ammonia
  • A Dash of Organic Material (Dark Corn Syrup Works Well)

3. Institue of Physics and Nuffield Foundation:

  • 10 kg dry ice pellets
  • 1 kg Garden Sand
  • 2 litres water
  • 1 handful soil (organic constituent)
  • Worcestershire sauce (organic constituent)
  • Smelling salts (organic constituent)
References:
  • Janice VanCleave, "33. Dirty Snowball", Janice VanCleave's 203 Icy, Freezing, Frosty, Cool, and Wild Experiments", p. 20.
  • "Create a Comet with Dry Ice", NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
  • Dennis Schatz, "Making a Comet in the Classroom", Pacific Science Center/NATO Outreach, 1985.
  • Institute of Physics and Nuffield Foundation, "How to Make a Comet",
  • "Comet or Asteroid", Tap-L Conversations, by Brian Anderson, David Maiullo, Matt Lowry, David Sturm, Daniel R. Thompson, and Gerald Zani.


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