36 votes

Is Jupiter's Red Spot "locked in place" or does it move around?

It does drift relative to other parts of the atmosphere. The lack of a surface makes defining the actual rotation period of Jupiter rather difficult. The currently accepted value of 9h:55m:29.7s is ...
James K's user avatar
  • 121k
24 votes

Are there lightning bolts on Mars?

Lightning may have been detected on Mars, although it currently appears to be rare, and attempts to replicate the 2006 results have failed so far. New research found that the low pressure on Mars ...
IronEagle's user avatar
  • 641
20 votes

Is Jupiter's Red Spot "locked in place" or does it move around?

Yes, as with all other storms, the Great Red Spot is dynamic, so it constantly changes its size and shape and it shifts and drifts and is not just "locked in a definite position". According ...
Nilay Ghosh's user avatar
  • 4,462
14 votes

What are the "weather" (and other) implications of long "days" and short "years" on Mercury?

Mercury has no atmosphere, so it experiences direct radiative heating and cooling. The path of the sun in the sky is a slow motion lasting many Earth days and is due as much to the orbit of Mercury (...
James K's user avatar
  • 121k
13 votes

Are there lightning bolts on Mars?

Lightning Detected on Mars, 2006 With those dust storms, it's difficult to believe that you would not get sufficient charge separation. At only a few hectopascal pressure, thunder might be hard to ...
Wayfaring Stranger's user avatar
12 votes
Accepted

Why is there no hurricane on the Sun?

We see sunspots, which are giant, planet-sized storms on the surface of the Sun. There are however many differences between sunspots, the Great Red Spot on Jupiter, and tropical cyclones (e.g., ...
David Hammen's user avatar
10 votes

Why is there no hurricane on the Sun?

In addition to the answer above, spiraling storms like hurricanes or the great red spot, are quite orderly and require the right conditions and energy transfer. The great red spot keeps relatively ...
userLTK's user avatar
  • 24k
9 votes
Accepted

What if a global killer hit Mars?

Imagine a similar asteroid as Chicxulub, the one that likely killed the dinosaurs here on earth. It is thought to have impacted at about 20 km/s. Initial atmospheric effects: When the asteroid entered ...
Connor Garcia's user avatar
  • 16.3k
9 votes
Accepted

What are the best options for watching total or partial solar eclipse during bad weather conditions?

Your profile says you're from Massachusetts. The weather in northeast US looks to be very good for eclipse viewing: I would take that eight hour hit if I lived in the northeast US. Total eclipses are ...
David Hammen's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Would drinking melted ice water from Mars taste like sparkling water?

Any ice that forms from water will be free of salt -- the process of crystallization does an excellent job of removing impurities. But that's only when freezing out of liquid water, which is not a ...
Mark Olson's user avatar
  • 7,650
8 votes

What are the best options for watching total or partial solar eclipse during bad weather conditions?

If you stay in the region of partial eclipse on a cloudy day you will probably observe nothing special. Perhaps you might notice that "the clouds are a little darker now than they were ...
James K's user avatar
  • 121k
7 votes

Why are only the poles of Mars frozen, despite too cold temperatures on lower latitudes?

Just like a cold winters night on Earth does not guarantee snow, so does a cold Mars not guarantee ice everywhere. In order for ice or snow to form, the moisture that is later solidifying has to be ...
AtmosphericPrisonEscape's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

Are there lightning bolts on Mars?

While not seen yet, dustdevils on mars could also contain lightning as they generate electric fields close to the breakdown of air on mars. "On Earth, with instruments we've measured electric ...
Voltage Spike's user avatar
6 votes

Impact of Atmospheric Water vapour on Optical Observations

There is actualy very little water vapour absorption in the optical part of the spectrum (350 - 750 nm). If "optical" is extended (as it often is) to include that part of the spectrum where ...
ProfRob's user avatar
  • 152k
6 votes
Accepted

Is the solar system barycenter affecting the Earth weather?

Why don't we see a change in temperature when the barycenter changes?  The motion of the Sun relative to the Solar System barycentre (SSB) doesn't have much of an effect on the Earth's orbit. As the ...
PM 2Ring's user avatar
  • 14.4k
5 votes

What if a global killer hit Mars?

A partial answer to this part: Would any volcanoes erupt? At a local scale (i.e., close to the impact), such an asteroid could melt the rock, see impactite. But this is not volcanism stricto sensu, ...
Jean-Marie Prival's user avatar
5 votes

Impact of Atmospheric Water vapour on Optical Observations

Yes, water vapour interferes even stronger with astronomical observations than $\rm CO_2$. In the optical, water easily forms droplets which scatter light. But also in the gaseous phase water has ...
AtmosphericPrisonEscape's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

What does "Active Weather Patterns" mean?

It means that Titan has weather (driven by methane rather than water) and that it's weather changes with the seasons. Cassini has been observing Titan for almost half of a Titan year, which is 29.457 ...
David Hammen's user avatar
4 votes

What mechanisms limit the top speed of high altitude winds on Venus?

I found some recent papers which, if nothing else, discuss apparent mechanisms. Quoting from Schubert, 2016, The large-scale circulation of the upper atmosphere from ~90 to ~200 km altitude (...
Carl Witthoft's user avatar
4 votes

Terrestrial Exoplanet Skies – I've Built a Visual Sky Chart. Is it Accurate?

I think the star,its halo and cloud can't be darker than the sky color even early M type still look blindingly bright orange-red on the sky not dim orange-red. The sky color, if heavier i think it ...
Techodom Boonyasoma's user avatar
4 votes

Terrestrial Exoplanet Skies – I've Built a Visual Sky Chart. Is it Accurate?

Your plots are incorrect in the segments of high pressure as well as of low star temperature. At high pressure the important factor becomes light extinction, which makes the sky yellowish unless there'...
Ruslan's user avatar
  • 967
4 votes
Accepted

How long do thunderstorms on Venus last?

Independent observation led to the conclusion that lightning is prevalent on Venus. Electromagnetic signals detected by the 4 Venera landers explained the main cause of lightning on Venus. Venera 9 ...
Nilay Ghosh's user avatar
  • 4,462
4 votes
Accepted

What causes the strong winds on Uranus?

As said, winds on Uranus are quite strong blowing upto 560 miles/hr (900 kmph). But, the question is what forces drives these winds? Researchers has been digging for quite a while. They investigated ...
Nilay Ghosh's user avatar
  • 4,462
4 votes
Accepted

Why is the opening in the Anglo-Australian Telescope's dome so small?

This is a two part windscreen designed to minimize the effects of windshake on the telescope and to avoid the deterioration in image quality that wind would cause. The AAT is in a tall 6 story dome on ...
astrosnapper's user avatar
  • 8,357
4 votes

What are the best options for watching total or partial solar eclipse during bad weather conditions?

If it's a thin overcast, you can use the clouds as a solar filter for taking pictures of the Sun, but don't look at the Sun directly: it brings the light level down to something a camera can handle, ...
Mark's user avatar
  • 3,393
3 votes

Is there any scientific correlation between cold nights and star-lit skies?

Yes. Clear skies allow the Earth to cool more effectively at night. If there are clouds, these re-radiate some portion of the infrared flux from the Earth back towards the ground, keeping it warmer.
ProfRob's user avatar
  • 152k
3 votes

Best locations for large telescopes at high northern latitudes

You can (probably) do much better than Mount Washington, both in terms of latitude and air quality. For one, you're right about the weather. According to Wikipedia, it is a convergence point for ...
Bart W's user avatar
  • 496
3 votes

What are the best options for watching total or partial solar eclipse during bad weather conditions?

Cloud cover during a partial eclipse totally destroys whatever experience you might have had. The day becomes slightly gloomier than it might have already been. On the other hand, cloud cover during a ...
ProfRob's user avatar
  • 152k
2 votes

Terrestrial Exoplanet Skies – I've Built a Visual Sky Chart. Is it Accurate?

(Some of) These plots are incorrect. Whilst Rayleigh scattering has a steep dependence on wavelength $(\propto \lambda^{-4})$, it cannot scatter what is not there. There is almost no blue light at all ...
ProfRob's user avatar
  • 152k

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