Madelyn Wenham

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On A Collision Course: The Moon part of Earth and Space Science:Summer 2011:Activities
Impact craters are found on nearly all solid surface planets and satellites. Although this exercise simulates the impact process, it must be noted that the physical variables do not scale in a simple way to compare with full-size crater formation. In other words, this exercise is a good approximation but not the real thing. Impact craters form when objects from space, such as asteroids, impact the surface of a planet or moon. The size of the crater formed depends on the amount of kinetic energy possessed by the impacting object. During impact the kinetic energy of the object is transferred to the target surface. The students will experiment with creating craters! Each group will first be given photos of actual craters on the moon. This part is strictly for observation and discussion. Students will then work as a group to test different sizes, different masses or it could be an object with the same size and mass.Students will conduct the experiment using the Scientific Method (observation of actual moon crater images, predicting what caused them, write a procedure, conduct the experiment, record results on a data table, and come to a conclusion). Each group will present their results. [image right border]