The study of the composition or dynamics of the gaseous layers around planets, often applied to questions on Earth's atmosphere but can be applicable to all planets & moons in the solar system.

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Clarification regarding atmospheric opacity

I have taken a look at the related questions Can someone explain to me the concept of atmosphere opacity? and Why can spacecraft observe terrestrial gamma rays, but terrestrial observers not ...
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1answer
55 views

Are lighter molecules in the air more affected by earth gravity?

Or: Why are raindrops falling? In vacuum a heavy (big mass) object is attracted by gravity with the same speed as a light object as shown on the moon with the hamer and the feather. But on earth ...
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21 views

Would humans be able to breathe in an atmosphere with this mixture of gases? [closed]

-35% oxygen -61% argon -1.07% carbon dioxide -.93% arsenic -2% other trace elements On an exoplanet with a mass of .284 Earths and a surface gravity of .66 gs (6.44 m/s^2), would this atmosphere be ...
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Change in volumetric energy density

I we have an insulated system (i.e. $dQ = 0$, where $Q$ is the heat), then the first law of theormodynamics says $$dU = -pdV.$$ If there system changes volume while there are no other sources of ...
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2answers
38 views

Why would El Niño affect atmospheric CO2 measurements?

Starting with this article in Gizmodo: El Niño Has Pushed Our Planet Past a Major Climate Milestone and then to this commentary in Nature Climate Change El Niño and a record CO2 rise there seems to ...
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Sky color of a proterozoic earth with a Canfield ocean [migrated]

What would sky color be with a Proterozoic earth during the "Boring Billion (1.8 By-0.8 By) with a Canfield (Euxinic) ocean and a high atmospheric concentration of colorless hydrogen sulfide and very ...
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1answer
56 views

Is aviation exhaust the culprit for climate change? [closed]

The ongoing climate change is the biggest threat to the human civilization. The recent 4-year drought in California, other droughts and floods in different parts of the world are posing serious ...
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2answers
103 views

Why does a rolling thunder always starts with a high pitch and ends with a deep, low sound? [duplicate]

Rolling thunders always come cracking in with a high frequency, and the sound grows more deep as the rolling advances, ending with the deep sound of a roaring lion. Why? This is not the same question ...
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35 views

Ultra-cold gas giant atmospheres

In the troposphere, which has the bulk of the atmospheric mass, it's colder at higher altitudes due to adiabatic lapse. Gas giants have several different chemicals that condense into cloud decks at ...
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Generic Rayleigh effect experiment - nothing happens for water

On youtube, a bunch of Rayleigh scattering experiments (e.g this one are set up with some compound being added to water in order to invoke the effect. Why is there no Rayleigh effect for "pure" water?...
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Ionospheric electron density measurements

I've been working on measuring total electron column density (TEC) with multi frequency GPS data. In theory, signal delay caused by TEC differences should affect the code and carrier nearly evenly in ...
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0answers
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Why are cirrus cloud those that contribute the most to climate forcing?

I read everywhere that most of the forcing produced by clouds is done by cirrus but I can't figure out why. It's obviously related to their IR absorption - emission...
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4answers
2k views

Difference between sunrise and sunset?

Other than knowing which direction is east and which direction is west, or observing for a sufficient timespan (to determine the direction of motion), is there any way of telling whether what one is ...
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1answer
18 views

Albedo and radiative forcing

I'm a bit confused on the definitions of radiative forcing and albedo. Consider this textbook problem. Suppose that the albedo of the earth increases by 0.01 in 265 years, ie $A(t) = 0.300+\frac{0.01}...
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0answers
20 views

Velocity Profile of the Upper Atmosphere

Consider an Earth-Centered Inertial (ECI) frame in which the tangential (to Earth's surface) velocity is measured. Now consider obtaining constant average velocity profiles of the atmosphere as a ...
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2answers
59 views

How fast could you suck up the atmosphere [closed]

So kind of a strange question, but if i had a 1000 foot wide hose with endless storage space, whats the quickest possible time it could be used to suck up the entirety of the Earth's atmosphere. Edit:...
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1answer
53 views

Would 10 metres of liquid air be as effective against cosmic radiation as Earth's atmosphere? [closed]

Assuming ballpark figures which give a depth of 10m if the Earth's atmosphere was liquefied, would that be as effective a protection against ionizing radiation from space as the gaseous atmosphere is?
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1answer
25 views

Why Nitrogen is still (almost) 3 times as abundant as Oxygen in Troposphere? [duplicate]

I learned that our atmosphere has ~78% Nitrogen and ~21% Oxygen. If I fill a glass with 21% water and 78% Canola Oil, the more dense (and thus heavier) water will take a full bottom later and Canola ...
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0answers
54 views

Maximum temperature possible on earth

What is maximum temperature that can we have on earth on a single day? Lets say an air mass is static over an area and there is no way for air mass to move, sun warming it up would increase ...
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1answer
38 views

Atmospheric pressure question [closed]

I'm asked to find at what altitude atmospheric pressure falls to 10% of the mean sea level value. I have found the expression for the variation of pressure with altitude to be $$p = p_0e^{-h \over a}$...
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2answers
74 views

Ideal gas equation and atmosphere of Venus

I'm teaching myself some basics of the ideal gas law and working out simple density equations for atmospheric gases at various altitudes. When I applied the gas law to Venus' atmosphere at its ...
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0answers
20 views

If Earth's atmosphere would be cooled, how would its pressure change relative to its temperature?

I have a feeling it would not behave like an ideal gas? For example, if the atmosphere were to cool down at a constant 1 atm to 90 K, oxygen would liquefy. If changing of pressure would be considered,...
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2answers
36 views

How to combine albedos

I have estimations of the Earth's surface albedo for a region (0.13), as well as an estimation of the atmosphere albedo (0.3 at a solar zenith angle of 1 rad). My question is, how do I find the ...
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1answer
54 views

Why does the composition of the air does not change with altitude?

Air contains about 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen independent of altitude (up to 100 km). Why is this? Shouldn't the concentration of nitrogen increase with higher altitudes since nitrogen has a lower ...
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1answer
80 views

What height is atmospheric pressure half that at sea level?

$PV = NT$, where T is a constant $P = \rho g h$ but I don't think this equation can hold in this form as the density is most definitely not constant as we go up in the atmosphere $\rho = \frac{M}{V}$...
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3answers
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How can planes land on a rotating Earth?

If the earth is rotating (e.g. at 1000km per hour, at the equator), how can planes safely land on a moving runway?
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1answer
55 views

How much of Ultraviolet is cut out when Sun moves to the Horizon?

EDIT: Original question was whether or not we need to wear sunglasses when Sun is at the horizon. But it was confusing to many users whether it is on-topic or not. So the details are adjusted. From ...
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1answer
44 views

Atmospheric pressure below sea level

If I go up in the air the amount of oxygen decrease and the atmospheric pressure gets lower. What would happen if i dig a hole 100 km down? does atmospheric pressure go up? when is the pressure so ...
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0answers
54 views

From coriolis force, cyclone goes wrong direction

note, comment below (BowlOfRed) asked for more detail, so this is more a re-write than an edit. In an idealised weather system, there can be a high pressure area, and a low pressure, and air goes ...
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1answer
145 views

What colour would the sky of a high-oxygen, high-argon, high-water vapour atmosphere be?

Although this is a hypothetical, I think it is nevertheless a legitimate physics problem. I would very much appreciate any answers you can give. What colour would the sky be, both at daytime and at ...
2
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1answer
63 views

Atmospheric pressure of Venus?

I have seen the calculations on the atmospheric pressure of Venus - 90 times that of earth. With gravity very similar to earth, how does Venus do that. The calculations I have seen assume constant ...
4
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1answer
66 views

What is this optical phenomenon, as looked from outer space? [duplicate]

I just saw a photo from NASA. This is it. This is beautiful. But i am not being able to understand, what are those red and green lines above the earth surface? These cannot be due to Rayleigh ...
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3answers
139 views

Rayleigh equation as explanation for sky being blue

I've been reading up on the internet as to why the sky is blue. The answer usually cites Rayleigh scattering that I've checked on wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rayleigh_scattering: $$ I=...
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Why In Thermosphere is He and O divided as measured? [closed]

If we look Thermosphere a bit closer. we found out that Helium and Oxygen is divided peculiarily. This picture below shows the Earth looked below the south pole. So the orbiting direction is shown in ...
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0answers
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How much pressure would be on Mars if the icecaps melted?

I was wondering, The martian polar ice caps are made of water and CO2. All documentaries say that melting the poles can add pressure. How much pressure would there be? I know that every summer they ...
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0answers
75 views

Covering the whole world in an EMP

I recently thought about shutting down the whole worlds electronics, and naturally ended up with an EMP. I know that EMPs are generated when nuclear bombs explode, but nuclear bombs have some unwanted ...
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3answers
34 views

Pressure and altitude

I am going to ask a simple question, for sure. The pressure with respect to the altitude is given by this formula Where sea level standard atmospheric pressure p0 = 101325 Pa sea level standard ...
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1answer
29 views

dry adiabatic lapse rate

Adiabatic lapse rate is defined as $$ \Gamma_a \equiv -\left(\frac{dT}{dz}\right)_{\rm parcel}=-\frac{R_{\rm a} T}{c_p \,p}\left(\frac{dp}{dz}\right)_{\rm parcel} = \frac{g}{c_p} $$ $R_a$ is gas ...
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1answer
96 views

Is climate change caused by humans? [closed]

Some people argue it is not because it is caused by solar cycles (sometimes the sun brights more than others thus increasing the Earth's temperature) and that the energy that $CO_2$ traps isn't enough ...
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1answer
63 views

what is the relation between heat capacity and mixing ratio

I am supposed to derive an expression for the specific heat capacity $c_p$ for air with a water vapour mass mixing ratio of $\mu$. The hint is: (Use the fact that $c_p= (\frac{\partial H}{\partial T})...
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8answers
4k views

How do stars from far away affect Earth?

I know that we obviously get light (or we wouldn't be able to see them), but are there any other ways that they affect Earth and maybe just our solar system in general?
3
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0answers
58 views

Faster alternative to travel to any location in the west? [closed]

Suppose one needs to travel to Somalia from Indonesia(which are approximately at a distance of $4000$ miles from each other on the line of equator). To accomplish this task, I suggest the following ...
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1answer
51 views

Weight of an air column - what am I doing wrong?

We know that the density of water is 1000 $kg/m^3$ and that of air is 1.225 $kg/m^3$. If I were to calculate the pressure of air at a square at sea level of area 1 $m^2$ in newtons, I'd need the ...
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3answers
441 views

What is the safe distance to a supernova explosion?

In other words, what stars near the Sun may have an impact on the Solar system equilibrium or the Earth life if they become supernova ? Is SN 1987 A too far ?
108
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11answers
21k views

Is the butterfly effect real?

Is the butterfly effect real? It is a well known statement that a butterfly can, by flapping her wings in a slightly different way, cause a hurricane somewhere else in the world that wouldn't occur if ...
3
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2answers
124 views

Can I cook an egg by holding it in thermosphere?

It is known that in thermosphere, air temperature is rising sharply with increase of altitude. In upper atmosphere, temperatures can even reach 2000°C or higher: see 2. However, air there is ...
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0answers
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What is wind chill a function of?

When the weather report includes a wind chill, was that value experimentally determined by sampling the conditions on the day of the report? Or was it calculated from other data? If so, what do you ...
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2answers
70 views

How to estimate wind speed from a pressure difference?

Does a formula (or a rule of thumb) exist to estimate the wind speed between a high pressure area and a low pressure area given the pressure difference between the two areas? Only the wind resulting ...
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4answers
126 views

Is the Air Blue? [duplicate]

Randall Monroe, a credible source in my opinion, says that the sky is blue because the air is: Normal light interacts with the atmosphere through Rayleigh scattering. You may have heard of ...
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1answer
42 views

How can condensation be aided?

I was wondering if certain factors of water vapor condensation can be aided? For example, being able to increase the saturation of water vapor via a certain method, or another example would be having ...