Questions tagged [atmosphere]

Questions regarding a layer of gasses surrounding a celestial object.

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799 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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what determines the density of atmospheres

What factors determine the atmospheric density on various planets and moons? Some larger bodies have less dense atmospheres, while some smaller ones have a more dense atmosphere.
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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 $\left(\frac{8RT}{...
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How many stars can be seen naked eye from outside the atmosphere? How 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 walk,...
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Why is blue light extincted more strongly than red?

We know that blue light suffers extinction more strongly than red (examples include ISM, atmosphere etc.), but why? Is it a property of the shorter wavelength itself? Can someone provide a conceptual ...
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Does Pluto's atmosphere collapse?

There were theories that Pluto's atmosphere collapses when it gets too far from the sun. Then I've read papers that says that it doesn't. But NASA says that the surface pressure went down recently (...
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How does the dense atmosphere of Venus affect the planet's rotation?

Reading through questions about my favourite planet, Venus, I came across this answer to the question What is the current accepted theory as to why Venus has a slow retrograde rotation?, specifically ...
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Could Eris have a permanent atmosphere?

In Wikipedia they write that Eris has an atmosphere when around perihelion (close to the Sun) which collapses when Eris moves away from the Sun. So it behaves similar to a comet's tail. However, they ...
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Say we were to bring Titan to Earth's orbit. How much would its atmospheric pressure change?

I've heard one of the reason why Titan has such a thick atmosphere is because of its really low temperature. So say that were were to magically bring Titan to the Same orbit as Earth, and the moon ...
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If water vapor is always blown away into space, how is it able to create chemical compounds on Venus?

This is the follow-up of this chem.SE question. According to Wikipedia, water vapor on Venus is present in trace amount (20 ppm) with this statement: The water has probably photodissociated, and the ...
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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 ...
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Equation for solar radiation at a given latitude on a given exoplanet?

I'm trying to find equations that would help me determine the amount of solar radiation hitting a certain latitude on a certain planet given the following inputs: the degrees of latitude of the ...
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mountains higher than atmosphere

Is it theoretically possible that planets exist with mountains so high that their peaks overtop the planets atmosphere? And which physical laws are relevant for this question? I'm just curious. Thanks ...
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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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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?
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Oxygen in a methane atmosphere akin to methane in oxygen atmosphere?

If we assume a planet the size of Earth with an equally dense atmosphere of nitrogen and methane, rather than oxygen, and it's in the goldilocks zone. Would a hypothetical alien species be able to use ...
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Do the gases in the Earth's atmosphere affect the color of a lunar eclipse?

As the sun's rays pass through the Earth's atmosphere only the red light gets through. Is this the result of specific gases in the Earth's atmosphere filtering the red light? Does all of the nitrogen ...
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Could spy satellites use laser guide stars (for adaptive optics)?

Are sodium lasers useful for Earth observing space telescopes/spy satellites?
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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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Is it possible to see Saturn from Titan's surface, day and night?

Titan is the only moon in our solar system with a thick atmosphere, similar to what our Earth's atmosphere was before life "appeared". It also orbits Saturn close enough to actually see it beautifully ...
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Is there a consensus as to where terrrestrial planet atmospheres in our solar system came from?

I tried to research this and I'm not sure if there is a consensus where the $CO_2$, $N_2$, etc. comes from on terrestrial planets like Venus, Earth and Mars. Possible sources would be accretion from ...
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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 ...
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Where does the CO2 in Mars atmosphere come from?

As far as I know, Earth and Mars were relatively similar when the solar system formed. So most of the CO2 was used to form carbonic rocks (right?). I found that tectonic movements are the reason that ...
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How do solar winds affect the atmospheric composition and density of planets?

Here is a bit of a newbie question, if you please. The sun is constantly ejecting small particles via solar winds that come into contact with planets and other objects in our solar system. Do these ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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What causes Titan a moon to have a denser atmosphere than that of a Mars?

I'm wondering about Mars and Titan. If Mars is larger than Titan how come it lost most of its atmosphere? Mars also has a magnetic field while Titan doesn't. Yet Titans atmospheric pressure on the ...
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What would the pressure and temperature of gas be, right above Jupiter's gas/liquid boundary?

Older pages like this "Exploration of the Solar System" course page describe the transition as being a few hundred kilometers down. More recent findings seem to put the boundary deeper. See The ...
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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?
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What is tilt anisoplanatism for Laser-guide-star usage in adaptive optic systems?

How does tip-tilt mirrors correct such issue? What is the physical origin of the error?
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What is germane doing in the atmosphere of Jupiter?

Germane (GeH4) has been detected in the atmosphere Jupiter. Its formation from the elements seems to be thermodynamically unfavorable because its enthalpy of formation is positive and (I think) it ...
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Can lunar atmospheric density, as it exists today, increase naturally?

Are there any mechanisms which could increase the density of the moon's atmosphere. The moon's existing atmosphere is exceeding rare, with about 1 000 000 molecules of gas per cubic centimeter at the ...
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Terminology: planet plus atmosphere vs planet and atmosphere as separate things

When discussing a rocky planet, is there any terminology to distinguish that you're talking about the whole thing, including the atmosphere, veruses that you're talking about the ocean + crust + ...
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Is Jupiter as opaque as it looks?

Although it is impossible to tell what is and isn't false color (aside from the adage that it probably is false). It's inarguable that no picture of a gas giant shows any depth or significant ...
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If Jupiter would stop rotating, would its atmosphere become homogeneous and single coloured?

Looking at pictures of Jupiter, there are many different colours and patterns. I imagine that the rotation has much to do with this, since there are horizontal "bands" across the planet along the ...
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Is it thought that the majority of Earth size or larger terrrestrial planets have retained most of their original atmospheres?

I used to think that most terrestrial planet atmospheres were secondary (from out gassing). However, after reading this https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20140017487.pdf and ...
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Can a planet with a hydrogen atmosphere have a water ocean with dissolved oxygen? [closed]

Reading up on rogue planets (i. e. planets not orbiting a star), it turns out that a rogue Super-Earth with a sufficiently dense hydrogen atmosphere could retain its internal heat and have oceans/...
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What is the difference between aurorae and electroglow?

One of the discoveries of Voyager 2 at Uranus was a phenomenon called "electroglow", which as I understand it is related to charged particles interacting with the atmosphere that cause the ...
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How does one find the electric conductivy of a planet's atmosphere?

I am working on an undergraduate project in which we study shaped structures in the atmosphere of the gas giants. We are investigating whether the magnetic field is the source of the instability ...
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Why does the adiabatic exponent decrease at the ionization zones?

The context is the ionization zones in stellar atmospheres or interiors, the Sun, for instance. The adiabatic exponent is the heat capacity ratio: $$\gamma = \frac{c_P}{c_V} = \frac{C_P}{C_V}$$ And,...
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Is dust the only reason why the Martian sky is so bright?

The atmospheric pressure on the surface of Mars is 0.00609 atm on average and 0.012 atm at most in the Hellas Basin. On Earth, at these pressures, which are found at altitudes about 30-35 km (19-22 mi)...
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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:)
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Why do most meteors vanish just before hitting the ground?

Many times we see in the sky that most of the meteor shower trails vanish when they are about to strike the earth several feet above the ground. Why does this happen? They could strike the earth's ...
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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) ...
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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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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 ...
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What is the smallest possible planet with same sea level atmospheric pressure as Earth? [closed]

Suppose there is a planet made of pure tungsten (a quite common and heavy element), with perfect spherical shape. Which should be its radius so that the air pressure and ground/sea level is the same ...
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Helium discovered on an exo planet

Why is there so much excitement over helium having been discovered on an exoplanet? Isn't it oxygen that we should be looking for, since this is what is needed for life? What do we need helium for?
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Are the darker blue/black areas in this picture what the atmosphere of Jupiter looks like without clouds?

This is a picture (mosaic?) of Jupiter's south pole taken by Juno (also shown below). It has gotten a lot of press, but I haven't seen anything, even in the scientific paper that accompanied its ...