Rainy wednesday stem
On this very rainy Wednesday I got to thinking about the endless clouds in the sky and how they are formed. Clouds are formed when water vapor is warmed into liquid water droplets. These water droplets form on particles (think of something like dust) and they form the massive clouds that float above us every day!
Today we are going to repeat the cloud making process at home in a jar! To do this you will need the following materials…
- Warm (but not boiling) water
- A jar with a lid (a mason jar would be best)
- Ice cubes
- Aeresol Hairspray
Now let's talk science! Read on to see how it works
As we discussed there are approximately three things needed to make a cloud. First, you need to start with warm moist air and in our experiment that’s created by the warm water warming up the jar and releasing that heat. Next, you will need to start a cooling process. This is why we top the jar with a couple of ice cubes. Due to the rising process of heat it will be met immediately with the abrupt cold of the ice cubes creating steam.
Lastly, you need a cloud condensation nucleus or something to start the cloud. An example of this could be something as small as the previously mentioned dust particle! The aerosol hairspray provides the cloud condensation nuclei. As the water vapor inside the jar cools down, it begins to form around the hairspray nuclei into a multitude of droplets. When you remove the lid, the swirling cloud is released and you have made your very own cloud in a jar!
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