Mummy, how did the clouds get in the sky?
Let's find out! In the Water Box, we explore the theme of Water and first up is the water cycle. We usually see water in it's liquid state. Let's learn about the other states through this activity!
What you need
A jar with a lid
Some hot water to fill up about one-third of the jar
Step by step
1) Pour hot hot water into the jar.
2) Turn the lid upside down and place it on the jar.
3) Place some ice cubes on the lid and let it rest for about 20 seconds.
4) Remove the lid and quickly spray some hairspray into the jar. Replace the lid with the ice still on top as soon as you can.
5) Watch the cloud form!
6) When you see a good amount of water droplets form on the inner surface of the jar, remove the lid and let the cloud escape into the air.
A cloud is formed when water vapor condenses into water droplets that attach to particles (of dust, pollen, smoke, etc.) in the air. When billions of these water droplets join together, they form a cloud.
When you add the warm water to the jar, some of it turns to water vapour. Water vapour is water in its gaseous state. The water vapour rises to the top of the jar where it comes into contact with cold air, due to the ice cubes on top.
Water vapour condenses when it cools down. However, a cloud can only form if the water vapour has something to condense on to. In nature, water vapour may condense onto dust particles, air pollution, pollen, volcanic ash, etc. In the case of this activity, the water vapour condensed onto the hairspray.