Water Cycle

The process of moving water throughout Earth

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Evaporation, Condensation, Precipitation, and More

Heat from the Sun causes water on the surface to heat up and eventually evaporate. This is when the liquid water changes into the gas form, water vapor. The key to starting evaporation is heat being added.

The entire water cycle is powered by the Sun! WIthout the Sun's heat, there would be no power to keep it going!

This water vapor rises up until it hits cool air in the atmosphere and begins to condense, or change back into liquid water. The water vapor must cool off before it will return to a liquid form. As the liquid condenses, it sticks together to form clouds.

As the water in the clouds sticks together it begins to get heavy. Eventually the force of gravity will bring it down to Earth's surface. This is called precipitation. Precipitation can be rain, snow, sleet, or hail.

On the surface, water is constantly moving down hill towards oceans. This movement of the water is called run-off.