Make Your Own Impact Crater

Impact craters are made when a space rock (called a meteorite or asteroid) hits a rocky planet or moon. The impact makes a round hole in the surface, called a crater. The size and shape of the crater depend on how big the meteorite is, how fast it is travelling, and what it is made of. Scientists use craters to learn about the history of the surface of planets and moons

Use this activity to make your own craters! Explore what happens to the craters when you make changes to your experiment.  

By the end of this activity you will:

  • have created your own impact craters
  • have identified features in your craters
  • have set up and carried out an experiment

To complete this activity you will need:

  • A high-walled container, at least 5cm deep – the larger the better!
  • Objects to drop into the container – these will be your 'meteorites!’
  • Any dry powdery material. It’s important to create different layers so make sure you use at least two different colours. We recommend sand or flour, and powder paint or cocoa powder
  • Something to protect the floor around the container from any mess
  • Safety goggles
  • Ruler or meter stick (optional)
  • Sieve (optional)