Up, up, and away!!! From the ground of Cape Canaveral to the edges of our atmosphere and into the reaches of outer space, humans have pushed the field of rocketry to the final frontier. Many people believe that rocket design reached its peak with the development of NASA’s space shuttle, but the designs of current rockets are continuously changing and improving.
NASA is currently developing the Space Launch System, or SLS, to be an improved model of the space shuttle system. The emergence of private companies who are designing and building their own unique rockets is truly revolutionizing the space industry. Space X is currently one of the leading companies in the private space race, already using their Dragon and Falcon 9 rockets to send supplies up to the International Space Station. Virgin Galactic is also changing the game by developing spacecraft that will take people who can afford the cost of a ticket into outer space. As the field of rocketry is forever changing, who knows where the next big breakthrough in design will come from? Maybe it will be you. Here at AstroCamp, we create our own unique small scale rockets. The creation and design of each rocket is limited only by the mind of the builder.
This is Ferrofluid. Invented at NASA, by Steve Papell in 1963, it is a liquid with bits of iron in it that will align along magnetic fields! Usually, it is kept inside of a container, often suspended in a clear liquid. Here, we let some of ours out to play!
The ferrofluid isn’t dangerous, although it does leave a nasty stain on skin and clothing, much like it is on our platter here, but it was well worth it!
Magnetic fields are an often mystifying concept, because of the inability to see it in normal circumstances, but with the addition of ferrofluid, it becomes much more obvious! In our setup here, the iron sphere is attached to two strong neodynium magnets, and becomes highly magnetized. The ferrofluid that made it to the sphere is condensed on the areas where the magnetic field is the strongest, allowing the magnetic field to become visible close to the magnet! We can now see something that is normally invisible!
While it seems exotic, ferrofluid is found in all kinds of everyday things, including speakers, transformers, and hard drives!
We would like to thank you for visiting our blog. AstroCamp is a hands-on physical science program with an emphasis on astronomy and space exploration. Our classes and activities are designed to inspire students toward future success in their academic and personal pursuits. This blog is intended to provide you with up-to-date news and information about our camp programs, as well as current science and astronomical happenings. This blog has been created by our staff who have at least a Bachelors Degree in Physics or Astronomy, however it is not uncommon for them to have a Masters Degree or PhD. We encourage you to also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Twitter, and Vine to see even more of our interesting science, space and astronomy information. Feel free to leave comments, questions, or share our blog with others. Please visit www.astrocampsummer.org for additional information. Happy Reading!