Questions regarding a layer of gasses surrounding a celestial object.

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1answer
328 views

Shall we say now that Pluto is “larger than Mercury” ?

http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/News-Center/News-Article.php?page=20150717-3 "Scientists working with NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft have observed Pluto’s atmosphere as far as 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) ...
0
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1answer
32 views

Why doesn't the Moonrise appear red when viewed from orbit?

After searching through many videos, I finally found one that shows, from the perspective of low earth orbit, the Moon transiting the horizon. It is actually a Moonset, but it shouldn't make a ...
1
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1answer
66 views

What is the air pressure in the heliosphere (Sun's atmosphere)?

Specifically, I am wondering what the pressure is at a distance of around 1 AU. Does it it decrease quadratically with distance?
0
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1answer
51 views

How accurate are rederings of something entering Earth's atmosphere?

Supposedly how accurate is it when you see a movies showing something entering Earth's atmosphere traveling 1 mile to 10 miles an hour or barely at all but skinning the atmosphere they show it heating ...
4
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0answers
49 views

Is it accurate to compare comets to clouds and rain?

I'm trying to avoid an opinion-based question, so before I outline the comparison I'm proposing, I will qualify the specific facts that yield this comparison. By focusing answers on the relative ...
1
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1answer
106 views

Would a human body float in the dense atmosphere of Venus?

To survive high in the atmosphere of Venus, all you would nead to wear is suit that protects you from the sulfuric acid vapors in the air and a supply of breathable air. Assuming (for simplicity) that ...
1
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1answer
43 views

Can you assume atmosphere height for the purpose of surface pressure calculation?

Given that by definition of scale height an atmosphere thins by a factor of 1/e^x where x is elevation in terms of scale height multiples (See the table here: Definition of Scale Height), can we ...
0
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1answer
24 views

Around what apparent magnitude can the naked eye observe an object during full moon

For a very rough guideline using healthy/corrected eyes adjusted to the dark, around how bright should an object be to expect it to be visible?
2
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0answers
44 views

How can you determine the initial volume of a planet's atmosphere?

Since the surface pressure of a planet is determined by the mass of the column of gasses above it one would surmise that to determine the pressure you must know the volume and mass of the atmosphere. ...
2
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1answer
82 views

Gravitational pull needed to keep a gas in atmosphere

How can you determine the gravitational force needed to keep a particular gas in the atmosphere of a planet (for example, carbon dioxide (CO2))? I came across the following formula ...
2
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2answers
511 views

Why did Venus not lose its atmosphere without magnetic field?

It is often stated that the magnetosphere not only shields the planet from cosmic radiation, but also prevents atmosphere loss. Why did then Venus not lose most of its atmosphere if it doesn't have a ...
4
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1answer
83 views

What are the cloud-like blobs in the Martian southern hemisphere?

In a very recent edition of New Scientist, an article Mystery cloud-like blobs over Mars baffle astronomers (16 Feb, 2015), detailed that on 12 March 2012, amateur astronomers around the world ...
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1answer
41 views

Could a magnetars magnetic field have saved Mars atmosphere?

Just wondering: if a magnetar was close enough to Mars would it have saved its atmosphere by protecting it from solar radiation? I was wondering this because Earth protects us via a magnetic field; ...
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2answers
99 views

How do or could radio telescopes contribute to exoplanet studies?

Current and upcoming telescopes which find exoplanets and take spectra of their atmospheres seem to be optical or infrared. What about radio telescopes applied to exoplanets? They are larger and more ...
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1answer
40 views

What is the boundary in the atmosphere seen in this video?

This video, which shows time-lapse views of Earth from the ISS, consistently shows some sort of hard boundary in the atmosphere, below which there seems to be significant reflection from sunlight ...
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4answers
246 views

How does Titan maintain the atmosphere

Titan which is smaller than mars has an atmosphere but mars is not able to maintain atmosphere. Even Luna doesn't have an atmosphere.
2
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1answer
48 views

How many stars can be seen naked eye from outside the atmosphere? Ho dense is the “sky” from there?

When I was 20, I went to Naxos (Greece) with friends. I was driving my car during the night on the mount Zeus (1003 meters - 3,291 ft) listening Pink Floyd. Up there we stopped the car to take a ...
2
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1answer
119 views

Effect of the absence of atmospheric refraction to sun rise and sunset times

What is the effect of absence of atmospheric refraction on sin rise and sunset time? Is it will be delayed or earlier for sunrise and sunset, and why? Thank you:)
3
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1answer
49 views

Are there many faint meteors that are too faint to see with the naked eye?

I remember one time a while back looking at the night sky through night vision goggles. One interesting thing I noticed is that there appeared to be many very faint meteors in the sky practically all ...
4
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1answer
96 views

Energetics of Titans Tholin haze

So, I've googled and wiki'd on this, but no clue, so I turn my question to the community: Given Titan's nice orange haze that is supposedly composed of Tholins and strangely coincides with its ...
4
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2answers
120 views

Why do some celestial bodies have atmospheres, and not others?

Question is rather self-explanatory. An answer touching upon how/why atmospheres are formed in the first place would be ideal as well. An example of such astral bodies would be The Earth and it's ...
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3answers
202 views

Can we hear something on Venus, Mars and Titan?

Mars, Venus and Titan have an atmosphere and we can theoretically step on them (and die quickly). So, as an example, let's say we can survive on these objects without a space suit. I say: “Hi” on any ...
3
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2answers
139 views

Would a high albedo reflective substance cool down Venus?

If we were to put a highly reflective substance into Venus's upper atmosphere, could we cool it down? I am envisioning adding a highly reflective fine dust or gas, possibly lighter than "air" to the ...
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1answer
72 views

Why do rocks on other solar system bodies that have an atmosphere seem to be flat?

Images taken by landers on Titan and Venus and Mars show landscapes where rocks, to me at least, are surprisingly flat. Being used to walking around in forests with roundish meter sized boulders, I'd ...
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1answer
121 views

How does water exist within the frost line of a star?

My supposition is that within the distance of the so called frost line around a star, water in empty space sublimates, evaporates. I further suppose that this means that vaporized water is pushed to ...
5
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2answers
441 views

Why is twilight longer in summer than winter and shortest at the equinox

I recently decided to set my alarm clock to wake me up when it is "dark" out. In the end, I decided to set my clock to the earliest time that nautical sunrise is in my state (Illinois) and stick with ...
5
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2answers
124 views

Can we find out whether early Venus was Earth-like or not?

It has been speculated that Venus billions of years ago could've had a much different atmosphere with liquid water on its surface and possibly life. Partly thanks to the cooler young Sun. But is it ...
2
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1answer
136 views

In the end what is the ultimate matter/element in the universe, due to fusion process in stars?

We know that, in stars, hydrogen is used by the stars and due to the fusion in two hydrogen elements we get helium -> Carbon -> Oxygen ->Other elements -> Iron -> then Super/Hypernova. If everywhere ...
3
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2answers
94 views

If the moon still had a magnetic field how long would have been possible to keep an atmosphere?

Let's assume the Moon had a considerable magnetic field to prevent the atmosphere dispersion caused by solar wind. Given the low gravity of the Moon, how many years would pass before all the gases (of ...
4
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2answers
196 views

Does the earth's atmosphere act as a spherical lens and refract light from space?

If so by how much does it "spoil" the view of stars and galaxies etc. Is this error noticable, when compared to pictures taken from outer space.
2
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2answers
1k views

Why do objects burn when they enter earth's atmosphere?

Why do all objects burn when they enter our atmosphere? is this because of our atmosphere composition? and does this happen on other planets as well?
5
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1answer
140 views

Could the earth's atmosphere have been partially stripped by a passing rogue planet?

I am involved in the fight between palaeontologists and aerodynamicists on the theoretical flight capabilities of the largest pterosaurs (who reached their climax in the Cretaceous and then ...
5
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1answer
109 views

How can satellites be safe in the atmosphere when there are so many asteroids coming in?

How can artificial satellites be safe in the atmosphere when there are hundreds of tons of dust and asteroids coming into earth's atmosphere everyday? What is an orbit of an artificial satellite? ...
7
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1answer
125 views

Did a piece of Halley's comet strike the Earth 1,500 years ago?

A friend showed me an article saying that there's evidence that a piece of Halley's comet may have struck the earth about 1,500 years ago. Is anyone here aware of such evidence?
9
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2answers
129 views

What is the current accepted theory as to why Titan has retained its atmosphere?

Titan (moon of Saturn) is unique in that it possesses a very thick atmosphere. However, Titan is certainly is not the largest of the moons - Ganymede being larger. What is the current accepted ...
7
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1answer
105 views

Does Ceres have an exosphere similar to the Moon?

Thinking about the question and answers for Does the Moon have any oxygen in its atmosphere? begs the question, despite being considerably smaller than the Moon and further away from the sun, does ...
10
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1answer
55 views

Loss of atmosphere on Mars

If the atmosphere on Mars was once much thicker, how was it likely lost? Was it due to interaction with the solar wind, the small size of the planet, both, or something else, and approximately how ...
18
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1answer
645 views

Why has Venus's atmosphere not been stripped away by solar wind?

This answer on Space Exploration to a question about Mars says that one reason Mars has such a thin atmosphere is because it lacks a magnetic field to protect it from the effect of double solar winds. ...
3
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2answers
61 views

Why did the Chelyabinsk meteor explode?

In February, a meteor entered the Earth's atmosphere over Chelyabinsk, Russia and exploded, producing a shockwave blast that damaged hundreds of buildings around the explosion site in Russia. But why ...
13
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2answers
3k views

Does the Moon have any oxygen in its atmosphere?

Since the moon has gravity, it's almost impossible that there aren't some gasses trapped on the surface by the moon's gravity. Has any free-floating oxygen been found on the Moon? If so, in what ...
20
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1answer
320 views

How could a hobbyist astronomer determine apparent magnitude of a star?

Apparent magnitude is a rather complex way to determine the brightness of a star. Quoting the introduction text from the linked to Wikipedia page: The apparent magnitude (m) of a celestial body is ...
12
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1answer
101 views

How are the compositional components of exoplanet atmospheres differentiated?

How are exoplanetary atmosphere compositional spectra distinguished from those of the parent star(s), from the composition of the planetary surface or any other factor? Is it actually possible to ...