Befriending an alien
You're asleep one night.
You are woken by an enormous crash in the park behind your house. You grab your torch.
You quietly get up to investigate, careful not to wake your parents. In the park you see a spacecraft crashed in the dirt. There's an alien lying on the ground at the bottom of the burnt-out crater.
It looks hurt, and confused. You want to try and communicate with it. Suddenly there is a giant flash of bright green light from the sky down to the spacecraft. The alien looks excited by the light, so you decide to ask it some questions about light.
You ask your questions to the alien. It doesn't understand. The alien looks hurt and confused.
You pick it up carefully and carry it back your bedroom in the dark.
You don't want to wake your parents. You are worried that they will tell the police and your little alien will be taken away to have experiments done on it.
You figure that if you can communicate with the alien, maybe you can help it to get back to its people.
You try another way to get the alien interested in communicating with you. You try to show it how a rainbow is made by splitting white light into all the colours that make up a rainbow.
When the alien sees the rainbow, it stands up and looks very excited!
It points to itself and says, in a high-pitched voice, "LUNA".
Her name is Luna!
You are making some progress...
Luna then tries to talk to you using hand signals. She looks like she is drawing some kind of graph.
A graph! Okay, you decide you will draw her a graph and see if she understands it.
You mum makes lots of graphs for her job so you sneak into her room and find a table of data to turn into a graph.
This is a graph about how much energy is in different materials.
Note: MJ/kg is short for "megajoules per kilogram". It just means how much energy is in each kilogram of that material. So we know that there is a lot more energy in a kilogram of natural gas than of wood.
Luna loves the graph you made! She looks really interested now.
You try another way to communicate with her. She liked the graph, so maybe she will like a labelled photo even more!
Take a photo of an electrical appliance at home (like a toaster, microwave, lamp). Label the photo with the parts of an electrical circuit:
- Power source (e.g. plug)
- Switch (where it turns off and on)
- Load (what the energy is being used for)
Also state what type of energy the electricity is being turned into.
Luna starts making noises, she is definitely starting to understand now.
You have a great idea. Your dad has a star map locked in a cupboard. You can show the star map to Luna and she can tell you where she is from!
The cupboard lock requires you to key in the answer to 10 questions to open. Your dad loves puzzles and tricks!