Making Raindrops With Mindy
Meet Mindy. She’s a little speck of dust, and she’s going to be at the center of a raindrop.
In fact, every raindrop has a little speck like Mindy at its center.
Before she’s in a raindrop, Mindy floats through the air. There are other specks like Mindy in the air too. Some are dirt. Others are salt crystals.
Droplets of liquid water form around Mindy. The water comes from the air. It was water vapor, a gas. The process of water vapor turning into liquid water is called condensation. And Mindy and the others are called condensation nuclei because they give the water droplets a place to form.
When Mindy has a few water droplets around her, she and the droplets are still light enough to stay high in the air. If there are many droplets around lots of condensation nuclei, they all together form a cloud in the sky.
If the amount of water around Mindy grows large enough, she and the water fall from the sky as a raindrop.