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Why was Tonga's volcanic eruption so severe, and what could we anticipate next?

Is it possible for it to rain on other planets?

Would you suppose that Saturn could receive diamond rain?

We're used to a certain type of weather on Earth. It may be very frightening at times, but at least we know that everything that falls from the sky and onto the earth is water in some way. When considering the possibility of rain on other worlds, you'd be forgiven for thinking "water." However, you'd be mistaken because Earth is the only planet with liquid water. Rain does fall from the clouds of other worlds, but it isn't water. That's not even close.

Let's start with the most exciting substance that could be falling from the sky on a variety of worlds. Diamonds. Diamonds, to be precise. Saturn receives about 1,000 tonnes (907 metric tonnes) of material per year. But, before you go planning a scheme to earn a fortune collecting diamonds in space, you should know that this isn't a hard reality. It's still an unpublished notion, although one developed by planetary scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Diamond rain falls on Saturn, Neptune, and Jupiter, among other planets, according to the studies, although Saturn may have the finest circumstances for it. Saturn's powerful lightning storms (10 per second!) can break up methane molecules in its atmosphere, allowing carbon atoms to float freely and fall to the earth.

As they pass through Saturn's deep, stratified atmosphere, they change into graphite and are eventually compressed into tiny diamond fragments (most are less than a millimetre in diameter). However, things grow too hot around 22,000 miles (36,000 kilometres) in, and the diamonds breakdown into a mushy liquid.

Are you not a fan of diamonds? Visit Venus for some energising, scorching sulfuric acid rain. Sulfuric acid clouds abound in Venus' atmosphere, but due to the planet's warm surface temperature of 894 degrees Fahrenheit (480 degrees Celsius), the rain only gets as near as 15.5 miles (25 kilometres) to the surface before turning to gas.

There are icy methane rainstorms on Titan, Saturn's biggest moon. Titan features a methane cycle similar to Earth's water cycle: there are seasonal rains, the methane rain fills up lakes, the lakes evaporate, and the vapour ascends into the clouds, restarting the cycle. Because the surface temperature on Titan is minus 290 degrees Fahrenheit, methane is in liquid form (minus 179 C). On Titan, there are also solid-ice mountains.

These examples are only the beginning of the discussion regarding rain on other worlds. We haven't even discussed Mars' dry-ice snow, Jupiter's liquid helium rain, or the sun's plasma rain. It's fascinating, but the awful flesh-melting precipitation should be left to the rest of the solar system. We're perfectly content with lukewarm rainwater.


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