Questions for “Raindrops on alien worlds will obey Earth-like rules”

NASA’s Juno spacecraft took this image of swirling clouds on Jupiter. They could release semisolid, ammonia mushballs of precipitation. Research now suggests that in some ways any liquid rain on Jupiter would be similar to rain falling on any other cloudy world.

Gerald Eichstadt/MSSS/SwRI/JPL-Caltech/NASA

To accompany “Raindrops on alien worlds will obey Earth-like rules


Before Reading:

1.  What conditions are necessary for it to rain on Earth?

2.  Could it rain on other planets? Could it rain on even those that lacked water?

During Reading:

1.  What aspect of raindrops tends to be similar, regardless of what the rain is made of, according to the new report?

2.  What made the new study different from previous looks at a planet’s potential rains?

3.  Why does Tristan Guillot argue that a study like the new one was “something that’s needed”?

4.  What determines how quickly a raindrop will evaporate?

5.  What planet can have ammonia “mushballs”?

6.  What’s the relationship between a planet’s gravity and raindrop size?

7.  What seems to be the size range for raindrops, regardless of the world on which this precipitation falls? What would happen to droplets bigger or smaller than that?

After Reading:

1.  The researchers who published the new study on alien rains did their work using mathematics, not observations. Why do you suppose they did that?