Make a Comet Using Dry Ice

Comet Hyakutake

Hale-Bopp Comet

Comets are cosmic snowballs of frozen organic gases, rock and dust.  It may have the size of small town. Here we are going to a make a comet using dry ice. Our comet will demonstrate the vaporized frozen gases and water on its surface. When comes nearer to the sun, it heats up and begins to form a tail with ejected gases.

Do you know why this visual model of dry ice called as comet? They look exactly similar in structure. Also the real comets deplete each time and finally disappear or become a dark barren asteroid when it comes near to the Sun. Similarly, in dry ice comets, by sublimation, the solid CO2 also transform to its gaseous state and becomes a crater filled ice ball. Make your own comet.

Try it yourself

You need:

  1. Glucose
  2. Bleach
  3. Crushed dry ice
  4. Water
  5. Steel bowl
  6. Sand
  7. Garbage bags (Large) – 2 Nos
  8. A large mixing spoon
  9. Gloves

What next?

Do not touch dry ice without heavy duty gloves.

Step 1: Cover the steel bowl with two garbage bags. Pour a full glass of water into the bowl.

Step 2: Put some sand in it and stir well.

Step 3: After the sand gets evenly distributed in water, put glucose into the mixture. Mix again.

Step 4: Put the dry ice into the mixture and stir well.

Step 5: Take the mixture with garbage bags and cover the top. Allow to escape some CO2 gas otherwise it leads to an explosion.

Step 6: Press the garbage bag and you can feel that some hard substances are formed inside the bag.

Step 7: Unwrap the cover and take your comet with gloves. It has begun to out gas just like real comets.

Logic of Make a Comet Using Dry Ice

Here we are substituting the main components of real comets with the materials used to make dry ice comet. Real come made up of ammonia, silica, carbon dioxide, protein and some water. So, for ammonia we have bleach, sand for silica, glucose for protein and dry ice for carbon dioxide. When we add dry ice to the mixture the dry ice starts to freeze the mixture instantly and form a hardened material like comet.

There are a lot more interesting experiments that we can do with dry ice.



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