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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Altitude altimeter application

What is the most precise formula to calculate altitude and what parameters should i considet such as pressure, temperature, dew point, ... I am developing an altimeter app and i don't know what the ...
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10k views

How can I calculate Vapor Pressure Deficit from Temperature and Relative Humidity?

I have a series of measurements of temperature and relative humidity (RH), together with mosquito capture data. Because mosquitoes are sensitive to desiccation, it's reasonable that RH may be useful ...
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How much of the sunshine is scattered into the space?

How much more sunshine will the earth ground receive if without the atmosphere?
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1answer
61 views

What exactly is wind?

What is wind? I think it is kind of a vibration of air particles. If so, is it a longitudinal or a transverse wave? Or is it just a bunch of air particles being pushed? Smells disperse in wind so ...
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Why do space crafts take off with rockets instead of just ascending like an aircraft until they reach space?

I guess it's not a very educated question, but I never quite understood why spacecrafts have to shoot up and can't just reach space by simply continuing an upwards ascent like an airplane.
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81 views

How much atmospheric pressure (CO2) is required to carry iron oxide dust in the wind?

It is common knowledge that there are dust devils and dust storms on Mars. But can we demonstrate that the atmospheric pressure on Mars, which is 0.6% of the pressure we experience on Earth, provides ...
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87 views

If the Earth's atmopsphere spins with the earth due to friction, why is there no horizontal spiralling drag?

Imagine a bucket of paint with a spinning ball in it. The paint would form a spiral and would not all move in synchronous movement with the ball. To clairfy - In order for the Earth's atmosphere to ...
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36 views

How would a huge ball of air look in space from outside and from inside?

If you replaced the Earth (except the atmosphere) with air and kept the pressure linear to the center (of the now non-existing Earth) while ignoring the effects this would have on gravity and leaving ...
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68 views

If you were able to get rid of Hydrogen from a weather balloon as it were rising and expanding would the weather balloon rise further than usual?

I know that the weather balloon will eventually be stopped because of the atmosphere no longer being buoyant but would the balloon be able to go farther than it regularly would?
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127 views

Average surface temperature of Earth [duplicate]

I had a question in my school exam. Will the average surface temperature of the Earth be lower or higher, if there was no atmosphere? Now, the answer expected is "The avg temp will be lower, because ...
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How does carbon dioxide or water vapour absorb thermal infra red radiation from the sun?

We are all told at school water vapour and carbon dioxide are the top two greenhouse gases, and that they absorb thermal infra red radiation, trap heat and warm up the Earth. My question is how do ...
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Explanation for strange atmospheric phenomenon

OK, I've seen this strange thing in the sky sometimes. Not all that often, but sometimes. It actually happened tonight. On most nights, at say 9 P.M. it is dark. There might be stars, moon, ...
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Difference between mixing ratio and mole fraction

I have been reading 'The Atmosphere of Venus' by V.I. Moroz which is available here. I am confused about the term 'mixing ratio' which is used on discussions in chemical composition. From what I ...
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1k views

Why doesn't Earth's atmosphere form bands due to different rotational speeds?

If the Earth's atmosphere is rotating at the same speed as Earth, then the atmosphere must be rotating much faster at the equator than at the poles. If you spin a ball covered in oil, it will form ...
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2k views

How much do we float in atmosphere?

The atmosphere is a fluid and we have volume, therefore we displace some of it and some buoyancy force must exist. How strong is it? How much does it affect gravitational acceleration on the surface ...
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3answers
259 views

Could the sky on a planet theoretically be any color?

The sky on the Earth is blue. Could the color of the sky on a planet with an atmosphere be of any color theoretically? Which colors are the most likely? I think it would be really awesome to have ...
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30 views

Underwater nuke - why does the shock wave first become visible at the top of the plume?

Seen at 0:30 seconds in, this video of Operation Crossroads Baker nuclear test the condensation behind the shock wave seem to become visible initially at the top of the plume - why?
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Modeling atmospheric reentry with respect to the rotation of a planet and its atmosphere in a simulation

I am creating a hard science fiction flight simulator. I am a civil engineering student, so its a little out of my area of study. Currently I model air resistance on the velocity difference between ...
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1answer
107 views

How does heating in the atmosphere look above 100 km

I have tried without luck to find a graph of temperature change through the atmosphere that goes further up than about 100 km. On this graph: (Source: ...
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43 views

Bulk and dynamic viscosity in the atmosphere

I'm studying the physics of the atmosphere but I'm struggling with the matter of viscosity (Navier-Stokes equation) for gravito-acoustic waves. From Landau-Lifschitz : $$ (T)_{ij} = -p\delta_{ij} + ...
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1answer
302 views

Does anyone know the mechanism behind this double helix cloud formation?

This looks like m=2 swirling instability mode of the axisymmetric jet, but how could an axisymmetric jet form up in the sky like that?
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2answers
3k views

Ascent rate and size of balloon

I am part of a school project, Project Stratos to send a balloon to the edge of space (the closer side :P) and was wondering how you would work out the accent rate of a large balloon (roughly 1m^3 of ...
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437 views

Is the atmospheric pressure the cause of a planet's surface temperature or is it the temperature the cause of a planet's atmospheric pressure?

I heard a climatologist on a talk show saying that one of the widely known arguments used by climate scientists to exemplify what a runaway greenhouse effect could cause to Earth's temperature and ...
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73 views

Calculating saturation mixing ratio for water in air

If I have air pressure (in, say, Pa) and air temperature (in, say, K) - how do I calculate the saturation mixing ratio for water? I can't seem to find it anywhere and it's a fairly useful quantity to ...
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1answer
114 views

Radio wave propagation in ionosphere

Radio communication is based on the concept that a radio signal incident on the ionosphere is reflected if the frequency of the wave matches the plasma frequency. But what exactly happens? Is it ...
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227 views

Why I can't feel the difference of atmospheric pressure between a closed room and outside?

As far as I know atmospheric pressure is the result of the weight of earth's atmosphere. It has an approximate value of $10^5 Nm^{-2}$. Then why I can't feel it? My physics teacher told me that we are ...
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Why can't CO$_2$ mix back with the liquid after a soda bottle has been shaken?

If you shake a soda bottle before opening it, and then open it, you get the fizz. That is the compressed CO2 releasing to the atmosphere which is at comparatively low pressure value. Two questions ...
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Regarding satellites and their 'safety'

Are satellites nowadays designed so that if one fails or its orbit degrades the scientists involved can send it various codes so that it will starts to 'beak-up' into smaller and smaller parts where ...
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4answers
50k views

Why does the road look like it's wet on hot days?

Often, I'll be driving down the road on a summer day, and as I look ahead toward the horizon, I notice that the road looks like there's a puddle of water on it, or that it was somehow wet. Of course, ...
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2answers
595 views

What air pressure is needed on mars, to have fluid water?

The atmospheric pressure on the Martian surface averages 600 pascals (0.087 psi), about 0.6% of Earth's mean sea level pressure. There is a lot of frozen ice on mars, but it can't melt, because of ...
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4answers
6k views

Why the shape of rainbow is semicircular after rain why not the whole atmosphere is colorful?

I have a very simple question. Everyone must have seen the rainbow after rain. According to the theory the rainbow is created due to the passing of sunlight from small drops of water in the ...
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4answers
622 views

How is wind created?

I know that 'blowing air is called wind', but what I don't know is, how is wind created? And I don't want the answer from Google Search. I want to know more about wind at the atomic or molecular ...
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480 views

What is the temperature of the clear night sky from the surface of Earth?

Before you all jump in with 2.73 K or thereabouts, this is more of an experimental question. It will obviously depend on humidity and radiation being scattered back towards the surface of the Earth. ...
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101 views

Why Do Clouds Precipitate Rather than Fall From the Sky?

After spending some time watching clouds, it occurred to me how interesting it is that clouds have more structure than just being homogenous, really humid layers in the sky. I see that a similar ...
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856 views

How deep is the Great Red Spot?

The Great Red Spot (GRS) is a very persistent storm system that's easily visible through a telescope on the surface of Jupiter. But what is the three-dimensional structure of the GRS, and how deep ...
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4answers
107 views

On what basis is it said that lightning does not strike the same place twice?

Why is it that atmospheric lightning cannot strike twice in the same place? I have heard this several times before, and recently I watched the movie "War of The Worlds", where the character played by ...
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2answers
172 views

Why is the current atmosphere made of nitrogen (75.5%)?

As I read a book on meteorology, 4 billion years ago, atmosphere was made by steam, carbon dioxide, carbon dioxide and a few nitrogen. Then photosynthesis came, run by underwater organisms, which led ...
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What would happen to the Earth's atmosphere if all the solar radiation was in the extreme ultraviolet?

According to this, our Earth's atmosphere is completely opaque to radiation with wavelengths less than 100 nm as this radiation has enough energy to ionize the air. Since the surface temperature of ...
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61 views

How does the atmospheric UVB attenuation of terrestrial planets compare?

On Earth, UVB (280nm - 315nm or 320nm depending on the source) undergoes extensive attenuation through the atmosphere, when observed at the planet's surface, as illustrated below: Image source ...
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296 views

What is the critical mass of a planet to have an atmosphere like Earth's? [closed]

Small planets/orbits like Moon cannot have atmosphere because of their masses. They don't have enough gravity to hold an atmosphere. Then what is the critical mass that makes enough gravity to keep an ...
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3k views

How Earth protected from the gamma rays generated by Sun?

Sun is generating energy by nuclear fusion. And nuclear fusion will emit energy in the form of gamma rays. Normally earth's ozone filtering the Ultraviolet radiation. And magnetic fields of earth ...
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how to find whether molecules will absorb radiation of a particular wavelength or not?

I am trying to understand vertical temperature profile of Earth's atmosphere. We know that different frequencies get absorbed by molecules at certain heights. I want to show this mathematically. For ...
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1answer
48 views

Why do tires need to be inflated when the temperature changes?

Why do you need to add air to your tires when the temperature drops? The temperature inside and outside of the tire is the same (let's assume that you aren't currently driving, and your car has been ...
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33 views

Global Circulation Model of tidally locked planets for PC?

Is there some free simple Global Circulation Model that can handle tidally locked planets and can be easily compiled and used on a PC computer? It does not have to be very precise, I am interested ...
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2answers
229 views

Does the gravitational acceleration change value with height?

My prof asked me to do a graphic of a given function and I have to just to vary the gravitational acceleration $g$ and the height $H$. If I know the interval in which $H$ is defined :$[500,2000]m$, ...
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3answers
216 views

Why does the air pressure at the surface of the earth exactly equal the weight of the entire air column above it

Why does the air pressure at the surface of the earth (resulting from collisions of molecules on the surface of the earth which has to do with the velocity of the particles) exactly equal the weight ...
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1answer
769 views

Atmospheric pressure's effect on sound

An argument has been travelling in amongst my friends around this matter and after listening about it for 3 whole days I decided to ask it here. The Question is: Would a high atmospheric pressure ...
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Why is the Moon not redder at moonrise/moonset?

Okay we all know about Raleigh Scattering, which makes the sky blue. And by the same token, sunsets appear red because sunlight traveling through more atmosphere will "lose more blueness" as it's ...
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If I shout at the sky, will some molecules reach escape velocity?

Will the sound waves, as they move higher and through less dense air, conserve energy to the point where some molecules of the rarified atmosphere attain escape velocity?
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Dry adiabatic lifting

If an unsaturated air parcel ascends adiabatically in the atmosphere with an initial temperature, would the final temperature of the air parcel, when it reaches it's destination, be the same at the ...