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Grandpa Pencil
builds a
Rubber Band Powered

Colourful Comet



A Comet

A comet is a collection of gas and dust a few miles across that appears as a bright ball of light in the sky.

Each time a comet passes the Sun the Sun's rays cause the gas contained within a comet to glow and stretch out like a tail.

The comet loses a little more of its gas each time it passes the Sun until only the dust particles are left


Making a colourful comet

Tucked away somewhere in your bits and pieces collection you should have a few wine bottle corks.

If not you might approach your local restaurant to obtain some.

To make this simple comet you should push a bit of a match stick in to the cork at an angle near the front (as above).

This match is the hook that your rubber band clips onto.

Glue four or five ribbons of either light fabric, or something like those streamers that you throw at a departing ship, around the other end of the cork, tape down and allow to fully dry.

The ribbons should be about 30 odd cm (a foot or so) long and as colourful as you can find.

While the glue is drying you can make a comet launcher.

I used a piece of dowel around 2.5 cm in diameter and 75 cm long that I cut a notch in the front end to hold the rubber band.

Put the band in the notch and tape it down to complete your comet launcher.

Important: Always launch your comet straight up in the air making certain that it can't hit anyone. Even though it is only light cork it still has the ability to knock an eye out.


'A World of Trivia', 'Dear Grandpa Pencil' and 'A Cheapskate's Guide to Exploring Tasmania By Car'
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Published by Robin A Cartledge ~ ABN 19 924 273 138 ~ Low Head, Tasmania ~ Contact/Comment