Questions tagged [atmospheric-science]

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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How does the adiabatic coefficient $γ$ vary with temperature (200K-20000K)? [closed]

At high temperatures, such as those encountered in hypersonic flight, γ varies a lot. My problem is that I can‘t find a graph accompanied by an explanation as to how & why it changes under ...
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1 answer
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Does pressure decay exponentially for a mixture of gases?

According to this answer, the partial pressure of a gas decreases exponentially in height, when placed in gravity. For a mixture of gases, the partial pressures of each component follows this law ...
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How much UVA and UVB is blocked by shadow or being indoors?

I could not find a clear answer online so I though to try this forum instead. I did find answers on how different types of glass can block different degrees of UVA and UVB. But I was wondering, if I ...
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What would the theoretical barometric pressure be at the bottom of a canyon that is about 15 miles below Earth's surface?

I'm trying to create a fictional world. I am kicking around the idea of supercritical CO2 lifeforms that live at the bottom of some abyss. I read that supercritical CO2 must be at 88F and 72atm. I am ...
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Is atmospheric pressure on an object in vertical plane equal to that of horizontal plane? [duplicate]

Suppose there is a cubic object placed at a surface level. Will the atmospheric pressure exerted on the upper surface of it be equal to that of the pressure exerted on its sides? As far as I know ...
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Meaning of $\rho_b$ in equation for air density

I looked for an equation for air density in different parts of the atmosphere and found the barometric formula on wikipedia. My only problem is that I don't understand what p_b means in the formula. ...
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Winds or waves in specific conditions?

Winds are mainly produced by differences in temperature of the atmosphere and waves are mainly produced by winds. However, could a rogue planet (without orbiting any star and with a cold core so no ...
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How much force would the wind of Saturn (1800 Km/hour) exert on my body if i appear on its surface?

Maybe I should have said pressure. I don't know how to measure the exact pressure of the air molecules on my skin, anyways was curious to know this, like what exactly will happen to my body if i ...
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Derivation of the planet flux observed at Earth (solid angle problem)

I'm having issues understanding how Sara Seager, in her book "exoplanet atmospheres", determined the solid angle subjected to a detector on Earth. By the figure: The solid angle was defined ...
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1 answer
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Is it possible to determine a moment in time when earth's atmosphere is no longer breathable due to the reduction in atmospheric pressure? [duplicate]

If the universe is expanding, the "pressure" of the "vacuum" in space is decreasing, the earths Atmosphere is expanding, atmospheric pressure is decreasing. Taking into account: ...
2 votes
2 answers
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What percentage of sunlight isn't scattered by the atmosphere?

What percentage of sunlight isn't scattered by the atmosphere and instead will arrive at your eyes directly from the sun. It's been aksed here before but a proper answer hasn't been given. I was ...
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Aerostatic force experienced by object due to air

This is an undergrad physics problem, which puzzled me because of the little background provided; see also the comment below by @RC_23. Problem. Compute the force exercised by the air to an object ...
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Why the sunset is red and a possible experiment?

Before downvoting: I have read some of the answers and will cite them as well. Not trying to debunk physics or create conspiracies. I love physics but I don't understand it. Background This is more or ...
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If you decreased the mass of a planet, but kept the mass of the atmosphere the same, would the air density decrease?

So, I know that atmospheric pressure is a result of both the atmospheric mass and the force of gravity acting on it. If you were to decrease a planet's gravity, but keep the atmospheric mass the same, ...
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1 answer
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Would a straw work in a completely sealed container?

Let's say you had a hollow metal cube. A hole is drilled through the side, and a straw is put in. The only way for anything to get in or out is through the straw. The container is filled fully with ...
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Confusion about the horizontal pressure gradient force being equal to the gradient of the geopotential in pressure coordinates

I see many sources in atmospheric dynamics express the following: $\frac{1}{\rho}(\nabla p) = \nabla_p \phi$ For example this source equation 10. The reasoning given is that $\frac{1}{\rho}(\frac{\...
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How does the local zenith angle evolve as a function of atmospheric vertical depth?

From Gaisser's Cosmic Rays and Particle Physics (ed. 2016). I know $\theta$ and I have the vertical depths $X_{v}$. I want to solve for $X$ via a simple trigonometric relation. However, theta evolves ...
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4 answers
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Does dusk really remain for a shorter period of time at the equator?

It is said that the dusk remains for shorter time at equator than the poles. Because, the equator rotates faster than poles. But it is also true that time is the same in every latitude, and if it's ...
1 vote
3 answers
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Atmospheric pressures

In weather issues, High Pressure cells are characterized by warmer air (of lower density). Low pressure cells have colder air (higher density). Any literature search on this leads to the basic PV=nRT, ...
5 votes
2 answers
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How much solar irradiance do clouds block from reaching the Earth's surface?

Consider a fixed point in the Milankovich cycle and the solar cycle, a fixed Earth-Sun distance, and a fixed horizontal location on Earth, and assume that the Sun is at the zenith for that location. ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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How does cosmic rays influence aerosol growth?

I have read about aerosol formation increasing due to ionisation but unable to understand what actually goes into the process? Can someone please explain how cosmic rays help in aerosol formation? ...
2 votes
1 answer
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Is upper-atmospheric lightning loud?

The upper layer of the atmosphere has much less density, and pressure. Do phenomena like blue jets, or gnomes even make a sound?
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How is the thermopause defined?

Wikipedia defines the thermopause to be "the atmospheric boundary of Earth ... below [which] the atmosphere is ... active on the insolation [i.e. incoming solar radiation] received." I don't ...
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Calculating the required volume of Helium to put in a weather balloon [closed]

Question I am working on a project where we will launch a weather balloon with some scientific instruments tied beneath the balloon. We fill the balloon with helium from tanks of compressed helium. ...
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2 answers
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Dust Estimation technique

I'm comparing different coating agents for ammonium sulfate fertilizer granules, coating agent is an additive to limit the dust emission, so I have a new coating agent that is lower cost and more ...
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Mechanisms responsible for absorption loss in the Ionosphere

I have been given a task at my university of helping with calculating some link budgets for satelites. The work I usually do limits to transmitters and receivers located within the troposphere, while ...
110 votes
4 answers
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Why do clouds have well-defined boundaries?

Why do cumulus clouds have well defined boundaries? In other words, what are the physical mechanisms that hold a cloud together, as an entity separate from other clouds, that prevent it from spreading,...
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Change in temprature inferior needed for a mirage

I would like to calculate the change in temperature needed to get an inferior mirage effect. I want to derive $\frac{dT}{dz}$ and am given the Gladstone-Dale relation for the refractive index $n(z)-1=...
2 votes
1 answer
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Why does rain feel like a chain reaction? [closed]

When the water droplets in clouds get too heavy to stay suspended, they fall as rain. Temperature plays a significant role in that. But why does it feel like a chain reaction when it starts to rain? ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Calculating the time interval between sunrises with and without the atmosphere

I have developed a method to calculate the time of sunrise, sun noon and sunset, but it does not take the atmosphere into account. Therefore, in order for my results to be useful in practice, I need ...
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Freezing at high temperature

The temperature of the atmosphere at a high altitude is around 500° C. Yet an animal there would freeze to death and not boil. Explain. I know that on the surface of the moon a pot of liquid will ...
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Generating (&saving) Energy from Charged Particles

This is highly theoretical and i need expert advice on this. There are charged particles in the atmosphere https://www.researchgate.net/publication/307435997_Charged_Particles_in_Atmosphere Now ...
2 votes
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How does the heat energy from burning a gallon of gasoline compare to the solar energy the resulting $\rm CO_2$ absorbs in the atmosphere?

I think essentially all of the energy from a gallon of gasoline burned in, say, a car is eventually converted into heat in the atmosphere. But I don't think the heat from burning fossil fuels ...
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If gravity was lower but air density was the same, how would evaporation be affected?

I'm confused about the relationship between air density, air pressure and gravity. Does water evaporate faster under low air pressure simply due to the air density being lower? If the air pressure was ...
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Tangential rainbows?

My kids just made me aware of a rainbow phenomenon I have never heard of before, happening in the sky up above our heads. I have heard of (and seen) double rainbows before, and I was aware that it's ...
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Does saturation mixing ratio decrease (in an adiabatic process) with height because the saturation pressure decreases as temperature decreases?

Essentially what is being asked in the title. The saturation mixing ratio essentially is a measure of how much water an air parcel can hold without condensation. Now, this decreases as an air parcel ...
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1 answer
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Is vapor pressure conserved during an adiabatic ascent of an air parcel?

Consider an air parcel with relative humidity $H$ and vapor pressure $e$ that experiments an adiabatic lifting process. Obviously the saturating vapor pressure is going to change since said process is ...
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Validity of defining Effective Permittivity in Dielectric Mixture

I am a optics-major student currently studying the topic of line-of-sight propagation of wave in scattering medium. I recently noticed some interesting articles about microwave propagation in mixtures,...
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1 answer
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How much does the sky weigh? [closed]

How much does the sky weigh? I don't know how much the sky weighs. Is the sky gravity? I tried researching, but I can't find scientific information that is proven.
3 votes
1 answer
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Using the sky and ground as a battery

Since there is a voltage difference between the ground and sky, shouldn't I theoretically be able to light a bulb by connecting one terminal to the ground and raising the other one to the sky (via a ...
11 votes
2 answers
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Alternate sky colors?

Ok, so the sky is blue because of Rayleigh scattering - blue wavelengths of light scatter off atmospheric particles in the air (more/more easily than others) - I understand this pretty well. So, if ...
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Is it generally accepted that Field Aligned Currents are caused by Force-Free Fields?

I am currently an undergraduate working on a project about FAC (Birkeland Currents) and it seems that most of the sources on the subject are very technical and hard for me to read (particularily ...
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Can you estimate vertical wind speed based upon temperature difference?

I have some data from an automatic weather station, with recordings of both $\rm 2\ m$ air temperature and $\rm 2\ m$ air pressure and also the surface temperature. Is it possible to estimate vertical ...
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1 answer
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Is the cross-sectional area of a mercurial barometer standardized?

Many textbooks mention that the height of a column of mercury in a mercurial barometer is 29.92" Hg under standard atmospheric conditions. However, they usually do not mention the diameter of ...
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2 answers
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Differences in interactions of light with different mediums

I am trying to figure out this problem, I apologize in advance if the question is silly. If i am correct sunsets are red because red light doesnt get diffounded as much as blue light, which eventually ...
1 vote
1 answer
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How does air cool as it nears the poles?

I understand air is heated by the equator causing it to rise towards the poles. But why does air cool and sink after nearing the poles. Shouldn't the air still possess heat, after being heated by the ...
2 votes
1 answer
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Geometry: path length in atmosphere ("round" Earth)

I'm having trouble obtaining this formula. I'll paste the text from the book: Considering the curvature of the Earth ($R$ is the Earth radius) and a non-vertical direction (zenith angle $θ$), the ...
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Barometric equation with different species [duplicate]

The barometric equation gives the pressure dependence of a perfect gas in a gravitational potential. In particular $$ P(h) = P_0e^{-\frac{mgh}{k_BT}} $$ where $m$ is the mass of molecules and $T$ the ...
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Colours of the sky if sun was blue?

What would be the colours of the sky at different points of the day if the sun was a blue star? This is assuming that our earth is at a similar distance away from the surface of the blue sun as it is ...
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Dielectric function of carbon dioxide gas in infra-red range

I did calculations on Rayleigh scattering by CO2 molecules in earth atmosphere, taking into account decreasing density with altitude and so on. The problem is that I can't find the datas on the carbon ...

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