Make Your Own Edible Meteorites
Debris around Vega, artist's illustration. Credit: NASA/JPL

Make Your Own Edible Meteorites

29/06/2018Written by Sophie Allan

Meteorites are more fun when they're edible!

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On Saturday 30 June 2018 we hosted a Space Lates event celebrating Asteroid Day!

This evening included special talks and displays all about asteroids, but we also gave visitors a chance to make their very own edible meteorites. Because space rocks are more fun when they’re edible!

A brief background to meteorite types:

There are three main classifications of meteorites, defined by their structure and origin, as illustrated in these handy infographics:

Credit: Ben Gilliland, STFC Borrow the Moon

 

Credit: Ben Gilliland, STFC Borrow the Moon

Edible Meteorite Recipe

Edible Meteorite Recipe
Edible chondrule meteorite. Credit: STFC
Edible Meteorite Recipe
Credit: National Space Centre
Edible Meteorite Recipe
Credit: National Space Centre
Edible Meteorite Recipe
Credit: National Space Centre

For this culinary kitchen experiment you will be building a chondrite meteorite, with a chocolate biscuit rock, marshmallow chondrules and metallic cake decoration iron flecks.

You will need:

  • 500g chocolate
  • 250g digestive biscuits
  • Mini or micro marshmallows
  • Metallic cake decorating nuggets/balls
  • 250g unsalted butter
  • Baking paper
  • Tray
  • Ziploc bag or towel

What to do:

Break the chocolate up into small pieces and place in a bowl. Place this bowl in a saucepan or larger boil of hot water and stir, allowing the chocolate to melt.

While the chocolate melts, place the digestive biscuits in a bag or towel and smash them up into crumbs.

Melt the butter and mix the butter, half the chocolate and digestives together in a large bowl. This is the rocky material of your chondrite meteorite. Keep the rest of the melted chocolate back for later.

Add the marshmallow chondrules and metallic cake decorating iron flecks and mix these in.

To make these meteorites more realistic, you may wish to add some metallic cake decoration balls to represent the iron content.

Take handfuls of the mixture and roll them into ball shapes. Then dip these in the melted chocolate. This melted chocolate is the fusion crust, the dark, often bubble exterior of a meteorite created as it burns up in the atmosphere of the Earth.

Place baking paper on a tray and place your meteorites on the tray. Leave them to set in the fridge for a couple of hours.

To serve, cut the meteorites in half to reveal all their chondrite beauty!

This activity was adapted from the Borrow The Moon resources developed in a collaboration between our own National Space Academy and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC). To find out more about this scheme that allows schools and institutions to borrow a kit containing meteorites and Apollo lunar samples please visit: https://stfc.ukri.org/public-engagement/activities-for-schools/borrow-the-moon/

Want to find out more about meteorites? Then check out the Little Book of Space Rocks, a comprehensive child friendly guide to meteorites developed as part of the above scheme here.

About the author: Sophie Allan is the Lead Physics Teacher for the National Space Academy.