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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1answer
115 views

What does “downshear” mean?

I occasionally read descriptions such as "downshear of the vortex" in meteorological publications. What does this mean?
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0answers
52 views

How to correctly calculate the colour of the sky?

It is well-known that the sky is blue due to Rayleigh-scattering. What bothers me though is the question how to actually calculate the spectrum of the scattered sunlight. Yes, use one of the ...
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2answers
37 views

Temperature distribution in a column of air

Say there is a sealed cylinder of air that has a height $\mathrm{h}$ and area $\mathrm{A}$ on the ends. The initial temperature throughout the column is $T_0$ and has a uniform initial density $\rho_0$...
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1answer
53 views

Can an object take off from A, do not move (in the air) but land at a different place? [closed]

Can an object take off at a point A on the surface of the Earth and then land after some time only to land at a different place where it initially took off (because in the mean time the Earth has ...
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1answer
114 views

Can I launch an object into orbit using only a cannon?

My friends and I were reminiscing about our intro physics classes and decided to revisit an old problem were we were required to calculate the orbital velocity of a cannonball fired from 1 meter above ...
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2answers
392 views

What is atmospheric stratification?

In the context of atmospheric stability, what are the meanings of stable or unstable stratification? What is stratification?
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3answers
277 views

Why is there less UV light on earth in winter

So I have often read that, at least in e.g. northern Europe, in the colder seasons, there is not enough UV (-B) light arriving from the sun, so many people have not enough vitamin-D from that. At ...
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1answer
35 views

Possible to redirect atmosphere lost to space back to a planetary body [closed]

So I understand that lower gravity planetary bodies tend to lose atmosphere at a pretty quick rate, and as I understand it when the gases break free they are blown away in the direction that the solar ...
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3answers
66 views

How high do you need to be so as to not rotate along with Earth?

So, I saw this meme about some minister commenting that the Earth doesn't rotate, for if it did then planes only need to be in the air and the destination city would come to it. I know this is absurd ...
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What would happen to Pluto's atmosphere if it was exposed to emissions levels similar to those of earth? [closed]

Earth and Pluto are nothing alike, different pressure, mass, gravity, in essence a whole different set of physics, but if emissions were introduced artificially in a growing trend like what we see on ...
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2answers
52 views

Are clouds forming above a certain height? [closed]

Are clouds forming above a certain height (300m+) and if they do, how are they staying above that certain height and aren't forming let's say at 20-30m from ground. What keeps them so high?
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1answer
198 views

Jupiter: Zonal Jets in opposite directions

I recently read that the Great Red Spot arises from the shear instability of zonal flow from zonal jets travelling in opposite directions. Is there any reason why such zonal jets travel in opposite ...
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1answer
20 views

How to account for lower tropospheric horizontal refraction

With regards to the lowest 5kms of the troposphere, the International Standard Atmosphere models don't support a notion of a linear increase in air density along Horizontal axes. Yet, the path of ...
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1answer
45 views

How much and what kind of sunlight passes through a cloud?

I've read that 80% of sunlight is passing through clouds. Now there a small clouds and big clouds so it should be some average. Is this true or is the amount of sunlight passing throug a cloud really ...
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0answers
10 views

What is the relationship between atmospheric refraction and path curvature?

Light traveling in a "curved" trajectory suggests a linear increase of the refractive index over the entire distance (uninterrupted super-refraction). A lapse in the increase of the refractive index ...
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0answers
49 views

Behaviour of Altimeter at different temperatures

I have realized that the Altimeter of my bike computer (it uses Air Pressure to determine altitude and needs to be calibrated every start) is not consistent at different temperatures. At the Start ...
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2answers
1k views

Why is there lightning where there are no clouds? [closed]

Recently my family and I went onto the balcony to observed the stars in the night sky. We started to see flashes in the sky and we realized that it was lightning (non-fork lightning). I looked around ...
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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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2answers
4k views

What does the phrase “limb of the earth” or “atmospheric limb” mean?

What does the term limb of the earth (see this question, for example) or atmospheric limb mean? The phrase strikes me as very odd, since earth is nearly spherical. Do other planets with atmospheres ...
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5answers
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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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1answer
68 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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1answer
66 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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2answers
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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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2answers
44 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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3answers
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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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1answer
57 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
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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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3answers
538 views

Extended sound of thunder

Why does the sound of thunder last several seconds even when lightning lasts for only fraction of a second?
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0answers
20 views

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
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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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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2answers
170 views

Expression for Atmospheric Pressure with Altitude, including Tidal Forces

Is this simple to obtain? I've tried to modify the constant-gravity model to use the $GM/r^2$ form instead, but my result was shown to be wrong with some testing. Constant Gravity Model You can ...
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1answer
19 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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11answers
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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 ...
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2answers
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Is there an upper frequency limit to ultrasound?

Wikipedia has this diagram of the acoustic frequency spectrum: Is there an upper limit to the frequencies you can transmit through the air? Are they absorbed more and more at higher frequencies, ...
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5answers
5k views

How does humidity affect the path of a bullet?

Background Last night, I was reading the FM 23-10 (The U.S. army official field manual for sniper training), and I've noticed that they're potentially teaching snipers incorrect information. ...
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3answers
448 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 ?
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2answers
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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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0answers
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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
2k views

Why does the Sun turn red near sunset?

At daytime the Sun's light is yellowish if not near white. Why when the Sun starts to go down that it's light turn more red. I don't think the earth's rotation is so rapid to cause a red shift. Why ...
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4answers
10k 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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2answers
63 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:...
2
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2answers
10k views

If blue light has a higher energy than red light, why does it scatter more?

As $E=hf=\frac{hc}{\lambda}$, blue light - with a smaller wavelength - should have a higher energy. However, it is the case that blue light scatters the most. Why is it that higher energy rays scatter ...
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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
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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 ...
1
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0answers
57 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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4answers
274 views

Do hail stone fall down just when it is created?

Density of ice is much higher than air. Then how can hail stone remain in earth atmosphere before they fall down ?
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1answer
48 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}$...