It's that time of year again where it isn't just a chill that's in the air but a rainbow of colours burst to fill the sky whilst barbecues fire up alongside the bonfire, it can only be November 5th.
Science is all around us and especially today, here we take a look at five totally baffling facts about Bonfire Night that will blow your mind!
1 – Fireworks were invented completely by accident way back in the 10thcentury! A Chinese cook accidently mixed three common cooking ingredients and set it alight causing colourful flames. Those ingredients were sulphur, charcoal and a salt substitute.
2- Had Guy Fawkes’ plan not been stopped and he successfully lit the 2,500kg of gunpowder beneath the houses of parliament , it would have caused damage within a radius of almost 500 metres. That’s almost the length of six football pitches!
3- To create all of the magnificent colours we see fill the sky each November 5theach firework needs it’s own special concoction. Each one needs a special metal element and when it burns the electrons go wild and release energy in the form of light. To make red you need Strontium and lithium, blue needs copper, yellow is created by sodium, barium makes green whilst magnesium and titanium create silver or white.
4- Every year we celebrate with Bonfires, something that has been done since the gunpowder plot was foiled way back in 1605. As well as fireworks we light a large bonfire which generates a lot of smoke and fire that depending on how big it is can be seen for miles! Fires are a chemical reaction that releases light and heat and requires three key ingredients – fuel, oxygen and heat to burn. The fuel we generally see on Bonfire night is wood, which is very good for the bonfire and keeps it burning.
5- It’s often said that sparklers are the safest firework that you can use, so much so you hold them when they go off! However, there’s a reason you need to wear gloves whenever you set one off. A sparkler burns at x15 the boiling point of water, that’s a staggering 1,500 degrees! If you had the power of three sparklers lit together that would be the equivalent of a blow torch, so be careful!
Fancy more explosive fun? Our ‘All Fired Up’ show begins this Saturday (November 10th) and runs all the way until December 23rd - Click Here for more information.