Archive for the 'astronomy' Category

Micro-Meteor Collecting

Metallic particles

Metallic particles

If you have just read the title, I expect you to be astounded that there is any way to “collect” meteors.  But no, we are not talking large meteors.  If you have read the title, I also expect you to be asking me what a “micro” meteor is.  A micro-meteor is a little particle broken off from a meteor.  Micro meteors are too small and light to burn up in the atmosphere, which is why they float to the ground, unharmed.  Most micro meteors, however, only float to the ground when attached to other particles, like water droplets.  I recently went micro meteor collecting, and now i’m going to show you how.

  1. First you should check the American Meteor Society website to see when the next major meteor shower is.
  2. Right before the meteor shower, leave an empty glass bowl out for a month.  (Note: if you live somewhere where it does not rain a lot, put out a glass bowl filled with distilled water.)
  3. When you feel that you have left it outside long enough, take it back inside.  Then get a second glass bowl and fill it up with distilled water.
  4. Then put a magnet inside a ziplock bag, seal the bag and scrape it gently along the surface of the first bowl.  After that, put the bag in the second bowl, and remove the magnet from the bag.  Repeat the process several times.  (Note: since micro meteors are rich in iron, doing this will remove the particles from one dish and put them in the other.)
  5. Then you completely evaporate the distilled water in the second bowl.
  6. After that’s done, make a dry mount microscope slide.
  7. Now that you’ve done that, magnetize a sewing needle.  Drag the needle along the bottom and sides of the dish and tap them on to the middle of the slide.  Repeat the process until you feel that you have collected enough micro meteors.  (Note: if your needle is running out of magnetism, magnetize in again as much as necessary.)
  8. Then comes the slide cover.  (Note: you can make the slide cover fairly permanent by using transparent fingernail polish as slide glue.
  9. Now for the final step.  Look at the particles under a microscope, (yay!) and then label the slide “metalic particals”.  (Note: if you are looking at a particle that is slightly rounded, then it is probably a micro meteor.  If not, it’s probobly just a pice of dirt.)