Do Try This At Home: Cloud in a Bottle
AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - In week 5 of Do Try This At Home with the Don Harrington Discovery Center, we’ll show you how to make your own cloud in a bottle!
- 2-Liter clear bottle
- Matches (children will need an adult to assist)
- Warm Water
- Put the empty bottle on the table.
- If the egg is not already peeled, peel the egg.
- Light a match and drop it into the bottle. Repeat this 4-5 times.
- Quickly place the egg on the mouth of the bottle.
- The egg will get sucked into the bottle.
- What we have created is a high and low pressure situation. We can see this all the time in our atmosphere and weather patterns. When we dropped the matches into the bottle, we warmed the air inside the bottle up and made it warmer than the air outside of the bottle. When air is warmed up like that, it expands. So when we warmed our air up, it expanded and some of it escaped the bottle.
- Once those matches went out, the air began to cool and contract again and it took up less room. With all the extra room, we have created a low pressure atmosphere inside the bottle. The higher pressure outside of the bottle then was able to push the egg into the bottle.
- High pressure and low pressure systems drive our weather. Air moves away from high pressure systems and to low pressure, creating large movement.
- A low pressure system has lower pressure at its center than the areas around it. Winds blow towards the low pressure, and the air rises in the atmosphere where they meet. As the air rises, the water vapor within it condenses, forming clouds and often precipitation. Because of Earth’s spin and the Coriolis Effect, winds of a low pressure system swirl counterclockwise north of the equator and clockwise south of the equator. This is called cyclonic flow. On weather maps, a low pressure system is labeled with red L.
- A high pressure system has higher pressure at its center than the areas around it. Winds blow away from high pressure. Swirling in the opposite direction from a low pressure system, the winds of a high pressure system rotate clockwise north of the equator and counterclockwise south of the equator. This is called anticyclonic flow. Air from higher in the atmosphere sinks down to fill the space left as air is blown outward. On a weather map, you may notice a blue H, denoting the location of a high pressure system.
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