Teen Moon: Moon Ooze

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Discovery of new volcanoes on Jupiter's moon, Io

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  • Classroom Activities


Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI)


Children model how the Moon’s volcanic period reshaped its earlier features.  The children consider that the broad, shallow impact basins — which had formed earlier while it was a “kid Moon” — contained cracks through which magma seeped up. Children use Rice Krispies Treats® to create a model lunar impact basin in a bowl in which slits have been cut in the bottom. A second bowl, filled with a small amount of chocolate syrup, is used to represent the pockets of magma within the Moon’s upper layers. When the model impact basin is pressed  into the “magma,” “lava” fills in the low areas through the same process that produced the dark patches, or maria, on the Moon. Children may examine a type of Earth rock (named basalt) that is also found on the Moon and that would have been shaped by the processes explored here. This station investigates the Moon’s “teen years,” when it was one to three billion years old.

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