Mulch needs your help to give Bucket a little show-and-tell to alleviate some nasty weather-induced headaches.
Mulch: "Hello, young viking. A fine event is taking place today in Berk, or should I say: over Berk? ... You'll get that on the way home. ANyway, there's an excellent view of a meteor shower at the Lookout. Have a look through the telescope! It's quite magical."
Bucket: "Ohhh! Ouch-ouch!"
Hiccup: "Err ... Can someone check on Bucket? Mulch isn't around and he sounds like he's in a lot of pain."
Bucket: "Help, [your viking's name]! There are bits of sky falling down and my bucket's just tightening up like there's going to be a storm. If the sky falls on my head I may end up dumber and this bit of brain is all I've got!"
Hiccup: "Now-now Bucket, I'm sure it's nothing but a small earthquake. We do live in Berk, remember? We have earthquakes nine months of the year and have volcanoes on the other three. If your bucket is feeling tight we should get Mulch to help you.
[Your viking's name], I think there's a perfectly logical explanation for this. Could you go find Mulch? I think he said he was going to the Wilderness. He's always been better at calming down Bucket."
Mulch: "Uh-oh. Bucket has had these problems with weather for years, now. The larger the storm the tighter the bucket wraps itself around his head. Sometimes he can work himself into a bit of a panic. We just need to explain the situation to him.
I saw something land here before the earthquake. At first, I figured it was one of Gobber's hammerhead yaks, but since when do hammerhead yaks fly?
Well, never mind that. Head out to those trees. Whatever it is, you'll find it there."
Mulch: "Blast my beard! A meteorite? This is incredible. As a long time fisherman, I've studied the stars for most of my life, but this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
A meteorite is a fragment of rock that fell from space and survived the trip through the atmosphere to hit the Earth.
You see, every object with mass has gravity, a force that draws other things together. Bigger objects have stronger gravity!
In space, gravity is the only force that affects most bodies. An object's ability to pull things closer is called its gravitational pull.
This may be harder than I thought to explain to Bucket. His hearth is a lot bigger than his bucket, you see. Can you chop off a piece of the meteorite? We'll need a piece of it to show to Bucket."
Item: Meteorite Fragment
Mulch: "A meteoroid was travelling near our planet when the Earth, a much larger mass, pulled it closer because of its gravitational pull.
When it hit the atmosphere, the object hit the air molecules and slowed down through friction. It dropped faster because of the friction in the air and fell rapidly toward the ground.
This is called a decaying orbit. When the meteoroid hit the ground, it became a meteorite!
Go on, take that piece to Bucket and show him! It's just a falling rock, not the entire sky. There's nothing to fear!"
Bucket: "But Mulch, first you said there were falling rocks and now you're saying there are decaying orbits?! This is even worse than I thought. Are you telling me that there's nothing to stop the moon from falling on me?!"
Mulch: "No, Bucket. The gravitational force of the moon is strong enough to keep it at the same distance wawy from the Earth. Unlike a decaying orbit, it maintains that distance around the planet. This is called a sustained orbit.
The moon's orbit won't decay because it's too far away from us. Don't look at me like that, Bucket. It's really not as complicates as it sounds. See if you can explain it to him, [your viking's name]."
Bucket: "Okay, but I still don't understand why this meteorite fell to the Earth and the moon won't. Aren't they the same?"
Bucket: "Wow. My bucket feels a whole lot looser, now. Well, what was I scared about, again? A tip of the cap to you, [your viking's name]. I'm glad you helped me feel better."