Black Hole Bucket

What comes to mind when you think about empty space? (You should be thinking: “Nothing!”) One of Einstein’s greatest ideas was that empty space is not actually nothing – it has energy and can be influenced by objects in it. It’s like the T-shirt you’re wearing. You can stretch and twist the fabric around, just like black holes do in space.

Today, you will get introduced to the idea that gravity is the structure of spacetime itself. Massive objects curve space. How much space curves depends on how massive the object is, and how far you are from the massive object.


  • Two buckets with holes in the bottom
  • 2 bungee cords
  • 3 different sizes of marbles
  • 2.5 lb weight
  • 0.5 lb weight
  • 3 squares of stretchy fabric
  • Rubber band
  • 4 feet of string
  • Fishing bobber
  • Drinking straws
  • Softball
  • Playdough (optional)
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13 Responses to “Black Hole Bucket”
  1. Yay! Thanks for the update 🙂

  2. jenjar2001 says:

    Fishing bobbers and weights. I found some today at a Fishing supply store. Thanks!

  3. Is it fishing bobbers that you’re looking for? If so, they look like this and you can find them locally at sporting good stores.

  4. jenjar2001 says:

    I really want to do this experiment. I’m having trouble finding round, coated fishing weights . Suggestions for other materials to use or places to find them?

  5. Melody Konkel says:

    ok thanks 🙂

  6. Aurora says:

    Make sure you are logged in first! This video is a bit longer – about 17 minutes.

  7. Melody Konkel says:

    Where is the videos that go with this experiment?

  8. Aurora says:

    Oops – sorry about that. Here’s a link to a NASA video animation that you’ll like.

  9. Maggie Ciskanik says:

    don’t see the animation of two galaxies colliding?

  10. Aurora says:

    Yes, it is! You can upgrade your account and get access to it if you’d like. Just send us an email and we’re happy to help!

  11. Loreena Baker says:

    Is this a grade 9-12 experiment?

  12. Aurora says:

    You need to be logged in to see the video. It’s near the top!

  13. Tara Dennington says:

    Where the videos that go with this experiment?

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