Try This: Make a Cloud in a Jar

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Cloud in a Jar

Can you make a cloud in a jar? Absolutely! With just a few things from around the house you can simulate the conditions needed for clouds to form.

Here’s what you need:

  • A jar with a lid
  • A cup or hot water
  • Ice
  • Aerosol spray, like hairspray

 

Here’s what you do:

  1. Pour hot water into the jar. The water should be hot, but not to the point of boiling.
  2. Swirl the water to warm the jar.
  3. Place the lid upside down on top of the jar. Fill the lid with ice cubes.
  4. Remove the lid and quickly spray a bit of hairspray. Cover quickly.
  5. Watch as the cloud forms inside the jar. After the cloud fills the jar, you can remove the lid to watch the cloud escape.

 

What’s going on:

A cloud needs a few things to form:

The first: Warm, moist air. For our cloud in a jar, the warm water and taking the time to swirl the water to warm the jar provided this.

Second? A cooling process. For the cloud in a jar, our ice did this!

Last, clouds need a cloud condensation nucleus. This provides something for water vapor to condense. A simple speck of dust could be a cloud condensation nuclei, but in this case it was the tiny particles from the aerosol spray.