Thursday, March 10, 2016

Ice in vacuum chamber on iron sulphate

We received our new 22 inch diameter vacuum chamber from Amazon and really like it.

The experiment above (3/9/16)was to see if as ice sublimates (turned to vapor in the near vacuum) some iron sulphate could capture any of the moisture.  Part of the Cornice Avalanches on Mars theory is that as an avalanche goes down some moisture is left in the soil, which changes the color.

The nearly empty balloon fills up as the vacuum is increased.

We could move the ice around inside the vacuum chamber using strings and magnets.   The magnets were inside a piece of sock and the string tied to that.  We also sprayed the sock material with Pam so it could slide around the chamber without damaging the material.  We had the ice tied to a washer and a string through that washer with a magnet at each end.  Then outside the chamber we had matching magnets for each end.  So we could move both ends of the string with the washer and ice.

We started the ice above its own plate and only after the water dripping of the ice was frozen and there was no visible liquid did we move it to the iron sulphate plate.   We left it there for a bit and moved it.   It did not show any color change and so does not seem to have picked up any H2O.

When we broke the vacuum there was a lot of wind, even at low pressure, and stuff blows around (including extra pieces of paper towel put in for this purpose).  The extra pieces mostly collected in one area, which is kind of fun in that it is like our theory for snow on Mars collecting into cornices.

Experiment by Amoni Cate and Vince Cate.

New experiment 3/11/16.

The one below is very much like the one above but this time with 50% table salt and 50% iron sulphate.
The salt and iron sulphate were mixed.  After getting to a good vacuum the ice was moved to the mixture.  This time it absorbed some H2O and changed color.  Skip to 11:30 in the video below to see the interesting part.  We think cornice avalanches on Mars are doing a similar thing.  The salt and other things in the soil are getting some H2O from the avalanche as it passes and changing color.

The H2O can chemically combine with the iron sulphate and so it could stay darker for days.  We will be testing this as well and posting our experimental results.

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