Humans have always fancied the idea of having a life on a different planet and the first thing we may need to know about is the availability of water and other habitations requirement. In a recent study paper, researchers from Harvard University revealed that raindrops are remarkably similar across different planetary environments and a study of the property of the raindrops will help us understand the ancient climate of that planet. Additionally, the study could also help us identify the habitation properties of planets outside our solar system.
Speaking to, Kaitlyn Loftus –a graduate student in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and the lead author of the paper –said that understanding the life cycle of the cloud is very important to understand the habitation of the planet. To take the first step forward, the priority is to study whether the droplets from the cloud evaporate in the atmosphere or make it to the surface. If we can understand a droplet and its life cycle, it will be very useful in representing the rainfall in a complex climate model.
The first step in understanding the raindrop behaviour is to identify whether the droplet can make it to the surface. If a droplet is too big or too small, it may not be able to come down because of insufficient tension and this phenomenon is not only limited to water but any other liquid including methane or superheated, liquid iron.
The researchers here used three properties –drop shape, falling speed, and evaporation speed to identify a goldilocks zone for the raindrop. During the study, the researchers found out that a small fraction of the possible drop sizes in a cloud can reach the surface. This phenomenon was noticed across a varied planetary condition. Researchers said that this pattern can also be used in designing model cloud cycles of planets outside our solar system. Further, it could also be a key to understandthe properties of Earth’s climate in a better way.