What Does It Rain in Places Other Than Earth?

Earth and Saturn's moon Titan are the only worlds in our solar system where liquid rain hits a surface. (Photo: Nadya Lukic/Shutterstock).

On Earth, strange things have been known to fall from the sky — frogs, fish and worms, among other things — but the weather forecasts get even stranger when you venture outside our atmosphere.

Take a look at some of the bizarre "rain" that falls on other planets.

Jupiter and Saturn: Diamonds


All photos here and below: Wikimedia Commons

On Jupiter and Saturn, it’s raining a girl’s best friend, according to atmospheric data.

Diamonds form when lightning storms turn methane in the planets’ atmospheres into carbon, which clumps together, creating graphite. As pressure builds, graphite is compressed, making it literally rain diamonds.

The gems would likely be about a centimeter in diameter, or “big enough to put on a ring,” according to Dr. Kevin Baines of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

As the diamonds reach lower depths, they melt, becoming completely liquid.

Venus: Sulfuric Acid


If you think acid rain is tough on our planet, be glad you don’t live on Venus (not that you could).

Unlike Earth’s clouds, which are made of water, Venus’ clouds are made of sulfuric acid that formed when water in the atmosphere combines with sulfur dioxide.

Although precipitation does fall from these clouds, the acid rain evaporates before it ever hits the ground.

Titan: Liquid Methane

Titan moon

Saturn’s moon Titan has many similarities with Earth, including volcanoes, wind and rain, which have created a surface with features similar to Earth. Titan and Earth are also the only worlds in our solar system where liquid rain actually hits a solid surface.

However, instead of water, Titan’s rain is primarily liquid methane, and the rainfall only occurs about every 1,000 years.

HD 189733 B: Glass

HD 189733 b

The alien planet HD 189733 b is 63 light-years from Earth, and scientists say it gets its beautiful blue color from a rain of molten glass.

The gas giant planet is located close to its sun, which causes temperatures to reach more than 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit and results in sideways glass rain that moves at 4,350 mph.

COROT-7b: Rocks


While most known exoplanets are gas giants, COROT-7b is what’s known as a rocky world — and it has rocky weather to go with that name.

The planet’s atmosphere is made up of the same ingredients as rocks — sodium, potassium, iron and silicon monoxide, among others — and when a “front moves in,” pebbles form and rain down.

"As you go higher the atmosphere gets cooler and eventually you get saturated with different types of 'rock' the way you get saturated with water in the atmosphere of Earth," Bruce Fegley Jr. of Washington University in St. Louis, told Space.com. "But instead of a water cloud forming and then raining water droplets, you get a 'rock cloud' forming and it starts raining out little pebbles of different types of rock."

Why Space Matters to Treehugger

Space is our planet’s home and its wonders help us get outside and foster an appreciation of nature. Exploring space and the cosmos can also help us learn about what’s happening on Earth. Space-based technologies have helped us better understand climate change, water cycles, and even air quality.