Sun Shower

The weather today: clear with a chance of showers… on the Sun?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

The sun gives off gas that zips through space just like gusts of wind. This solar wind is what causes our beautiful Northern Lights. But, where exactly on the sun does it come from?

Ask Emily Mason, a scientist from NASA. She spent hours looking for the source of the solar wind. And….Eureka! It’s right as…

Rain! That’s right. Rain on the Sun is made of super hot gases. As they heat up, they’re shot out as a flare. They cool off and fall back to the surface as rain, just like rain on Earth. But Mason found that sometimes the rain falls where it shouldn’t. When this happens, some will “evaporate” off into space, like steam from a kettle. This steam becomes the solar wind!

Mason’s discovery helps us better understand the sun. Engineers have been looking to harness solar wind for decades. Now, we’re one step closer to space sailing!

So, here comes the sun! And the rain.