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Craters Investigation

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Introduction

Craters Investigation

In this experiment I am going to investigate one factor that causes craters to be different sizes. I am going to do this by dropping a ball bearing with a mass of 63.7g, from varying heights into a tub of sand and then measuring the width of the crater it made.

Research

On the Moon, craters usually measure up to 200 (320 miles) or more in diameter. Meteorites hitting the lunar surface at high velocity produced most of the large craters. Many of the smaller ones - those measuring less than 1km (0.6 mile) across could have been formed by explosive volcanic activity.

Many craters have a surrounding ring: this is usually quite low although a typical one may be about 1500m (4920 feet) above the surrounding landscape. In many cases, there is a central peak or several peaks within a crater.

The darker areas of the Moon, known as Maria, have relatively few craters. They are thought to be huge lava flows that spread over an area after most of the craters have already been formed.

Apparatus

· 1 Tub of sand

· 1 Ruler

· 1 Metal Ball Bearing (63.7g)

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Middle

Preliminary work

For my preliminary work I decided to test my experiment at the two extremes. These will be the smallest height I intend to drop the ball bearing from and the greatest height I intend to drop it from.

These are; 10cm and 100cm

The results I got were:

Height dropped from

Width of crater

10cm

42mm

100cm

90mm

My preliminary work has been positive because I have found that 10cm is a sufficient height to drop the ball bearing from to give me a decent result, the crater is not so small that I cannot read its width easily. I have also found that 100cm is not too high to be accurate with where the ball will land and it does not splash too much sand out of the tray.

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Conclusion

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65

60

68

64

50

60   72

66

73

70

60

70

73

77

73

70

75

76

80

77

80

75   83

83

81

82

90

80

82

83

82

100

85

83

87

85

               Width of crater (mm)

On my first set of readings I had a few anomalous results that I have highlighted in red on my chart, I have repeated these results and written then next to the original ones. I then took the average from the repeated results.

At first I couldn’t tell if the line on my graph was a curve or a straight line. To find out if my graph would level off I tried dropping the ball bearing from 2 metres, twice my maximum height of 1 metre. So if my graph were a straight line it would be a very big crater. However the crater was only 95mm, which is only 10mm bigger than my result from dropping the ball bearing from 1 metre. This shows that the graph would eventually level off. This means that the graph is a gentle curve.        

...read more.

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