# Tagged Questions

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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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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If a tornado forms not contacting the ground and then moves over a large flat roof and contacts that surface, producing low pressure above that surface and having normal, higher atmospheric pressure ...
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### Is climate change caused by humans? [on hold]

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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### 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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### 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 ...
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### Extract energy from the atmosphere? [closed]

Let's say we would fill a long tube with water. Let's say the tube is 1km in height. At the bottom of this tube, the pressure should be much higher than the top. Also, the tube would lead into a ...
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### Why is the speed of sound lower at higher altitudes?

At sea level the speed of sound is 760mph, but at altitudes like the Concorde would fly at (55,000ft) the sound barrier is at 660mph, so 1000th slower. Does it have to do with lower pressure?
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### How much gravity (and/or magnetic field) would a space ship need to generate to hold an atmosphere around it? [duplicate]

Say you wanted a ship to have a bubble of atmosphere around it, 800m in diameter with the ship at the center. What sort of gravity (and perhaps magnetic field) would be needed? Would either of these ...
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### Why lightning most likely occure in night?

This is a question based on my experience. I am not going to prove that lightning (succeed by thunder) never occure in day, but it seems it most likely occure in night. May the humidity of air become ...
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### How is it possible that Thermosphere can maintain so much heat? [closed]

Thermosphere is the Layer of Atmosphere in approx 100-1000 km altitude. Particles in thermosphere are typically at 1400 K temperature. But the sun activity can raise the temperature up to 2300 K. ...
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### Compression vs. Friction - what happens when space objects enter earth's atmosphere

When reading about what happens when cosmic debris enters the earth's atmosphere, some sources say friction, others say compression. For example: On space.com it says: Meteor showers occur when ...
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### Pressure inside a closed room

I am sitting inside a closed room with a cement ceiling just above my head. The pressure of the atmosphere is exerted on the ceiling from above(outside). But solid cement not being a fluid does not ...
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### Can we consider light from the Sun during sunrise and nightfall as polarised?

On sunrise and nightfall light looks different, more orange or more dark. Some frequencies are filtered or light travels longer. The energy corresponding to this light is obviously lower than light ...
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### Whirlwind/tornado/dust devil in the middle of nowhere

I live in area which have many properties similar to desert. Many times when I drive by I see a whirlwind/tornado/dust devil of sand or other garbage parts. I would like to ask how this was normally ...
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### 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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### How atmospheric pressure affects liquid but not solid? [duplicate]

The barometer indicates a difference in elevation of liquid mercury level due to the effect of atmospheric pressure. For 1 square cm of surface the atmospheric pressure exerts what is equivalent to ...
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### How is the mechanism of greenhouse gases interacting with IR radiation?

How does atmospheric CO2 and other Greenhousgases (GHG) affect the incoming (from sun) and outgoing (from earth) radiation. I understand that at certain wavenumbers (or areas of wavenumbers) in the ...
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### Why does the sun “shine brighter” some days?

Today, the sun seems extremely bright; more dazzling than usual, and even the roads seem to be brighter so it's not just when you look up in the sky. Is more light actually getting through (perhaps ...
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### 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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### How does moisture exist in atmosphere?

Moisture is the water vapor in air surrounding us where the temperature is 25 degrees Celsius (say). But the water exists as vapor only above 100 deg C at a pressure of 1 atm. Then how does moisture ...
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### Atmospheric science and gas laws [duplicate]

If warm air exerts low pressure, then how could both temperature and pressure at surface of the earth is higher than at higher altitudes?
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### Why is the surface of Venus so hot?

Whenever I have seen Venus described, its high surface temperature is attributed to an intense greenhouse effect. This seems to make sense, as its atmosphere is roughly 96% CO2. But on Earth, the ...
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### How to keep a helium balloon between 1 to 5 meters above ground? (without it being tied)

I understand that helium balloons rise because their density is less than air, so they can rise up to a point where the air surrounding it has the same weight as the balloon. I was thinking to fill it ...
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### How does rogue planet PSO J318.5-22 stay 800ºC?

According to this article, the rogue planet (meaning a planet which does not orbit a star) PSO J318.5-22 has a surface temperature of 800ºC and weather that features molten iron rain. Without a star ...
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### Adiabatic expansion in the atmosphere

When an air parcel rises and cools adiabatically, it is said that there is no heat transfer as work is done on the surrounding atmosphere as the parcel expands. The parcel loses internal energy and ...
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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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### Here's a fun question, what would happen if Venus was thrown off in a highly elliptical orbit? [closed]

I'd like to know what would happen if Venus was flung into a highly eccentric orbit like Sedna (except maybe with its current perihelion) with an orbital period measured in thousands of years by a ...
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### Green light in the satellite image

What could be the possible reason for the green border visible in this satellite image ? (Image source)
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### Long-Life High Altitude Balloon

Normally high-altitude balloon experiments end with the balloon popping and the payload falling back down to be reclaimed. But if a second balloon was attached to the payload, one which was only ...
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### Why is the sky blue: For a 3-year old [duplicate]

My nephew asked me yesterday why the sky was blue. I tried to explain it to him as best and as dumbly I could, but I failed. I tried to explain the concept of scattering of light using an analogy of ...
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### Why can't I see the blue color scattered by the lower atmosphere of the earth?

I understand that the blue colour of the sky is because of the scattering of blue light by molecules in earth's atmosphere. The scattering appears to be happening from molecules that are far above in ...
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### Relative magnitudes of pressure gradient force and Coriolis force at midlatitudes

In the midlatitudes, both Coriolis and pressure gradient forces are present in the atmosphere. Can a statement be made about which one of the two forces is bigger in this region?
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### Temperature of a falling meteor

I am reading "What if?" article https://what-if.xkcd.com/20/ and I'm interested in it's scientific background. Mr. Munroe writes: As it [the meteor] falls, it compresses the air in front of it. ...
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### How can we see through our atmosphere [duplicate]

Apologies for the simpleton question, but how exactly can we see objects around us if our atmosphere is made up of a vast amount of nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide and myriad other such atoms and ...