Posted by: tpsciencefun | September 29, 2009

Making Deviled Earths

What, deviled Earths?? What on Earth is a deviled Earth??  Well, it’s a fun version of deviled eggs that was inspired by our fourth grade geologists this week.  A special thanks to Robert Clower. 

** Be sure to read below about why we used an egg as a model of our EARTH!

Here are the ingredients and recipe for making your own deviled Earths!! Have fun!  First, prepare for a “kitchen science” experiment with ADULT SUPERVISION. You will need: a heat source, water and eggs.  Your  goal is to produce hard boiled eggs. Timing will vary. Remember–PARENTAL HELP  IS MANDATORY !!

Cool your eggs after cooking.  When cool, remove the crust (shell), cut the mantle (white part) in half length wise, put off to the side.  Put the core (yolk) in a bowl, add asteroids, comets, meteorites and galactic dust (salt, pepper and various spices), add some of the Milky Way (mayonnaise, sour cream or whatever your family likes to use) and then create a cosmic explosion (stir and mix).  Put the new space  mixture into the crater left in the mantle by the core and viola,  DEVILED  EARTHS. Enjoy!!!

**Why did we use an egg to study about Earth??**

 Think of the Earth as an egg.  The yoke is the metallic core.  Here, the temperature is high enough that iron should be in a liquid state.  Gravity compresses the iron to the point that it re solidifies.  Surrounding the core is the mantle, an area of liquid metals that swirls around creating the Earth’s magnetic field.  That’s the white of the egg.  Surrounding everything is a thin shell.  that is like the crust of the Earth, where we all live.  Proportionally, the Earth’s crust is no thicker than the shell of an egg.

As the mantle flows around, it affects the crust above it in several ways.  The shell is cracked into slabs that float above the mantle like leaves in a pond.  When the slabs collide, one has to go under the other.  This process creates mountains, rift valleys, even whole islands.

I’m sure you’ve seen the way that south America and Africa seem to be two puzzle pieces that lock together.  250 Million years ago, they were locked together in one large continent called Pangaea.  Since then, the plates under the continents have moved away from each other at about the same speed that fingernails grow.

It wasn’t until the 1960’s that the largest formations between the plates could be seen.  The Atlantic Ocean is bisected by a massive crack as the European and North American plates move away from each other.  Parts of the mantle are exposed to the bottom of the ocean and solidify into new ridges.  We didn’t know about the mid ocean ridge until US Navy sonar mapped the bottom after world war 2.

Plate Tectonics is the force that allows heavy metals from the interior of the planet to come to the surface.  It also recycles elements as the crust reenters the mantle and melts.  You could say that the Earth “Breathes” as the crust moves.





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