Comets are a popular topic with a variety of ages; younger children may associate comets as something that moves, while older children may think of impacts and mass extinction events, and adults may remember seeing a comet. Engage your community on this topic through the activities and events listed here. These recommendations are tailored for organizations and clubs such as libraries, planetariums, science centers, astronomy clubs, and scout troops.
Events could include holding an evening observing session. Get in touch with your local astronomical society to help; you may particularly want to use the Amateur Observer Program and the Night Sky Network. Also consider bringing in speakers (such as local scientists or NASA's Solar System Ambassadors. Find videos, interactives and images in the Resources section.
Be sure to submit photographs, artwork, music, or words of your community enjoying your activities to Share Your Stories.
| Cooking Up a Comet (new window) || Students will learn the basic components of a comet and demonstrate how the comet's head and tail form by observing a comet model -- this activity is a demonstration. |
| Make a Comet Model and Eat It! (new window) || Students develop an edible comet model, trade "comets" and pretend to be a spectrometer, using four of their senses individually to decide what is in the ice cream. |
| Comet Cratering || Students will discover what happens when impactors hit the surface of a planet using balls of different sizes, flour and cocoa. |
| Pin the Tail on the Comet || Girls at a birthday party in Bethesda, Maryland first drew the outline of a comet nucleus on a poster board and then used strips of crepe paper of different colors to represent the tails of a comet. Just as in the popular party game, Pin the Tail on the Donkey. |