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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12 views

What causes the sudden change in atmospheric reflection of long-band radio waves?

This picture shows up a lot. The explanations that tend to accompany it say that the long-band radio waves above ~10m are reflected, whereas other wavelengths are scattered or absorbed or transmitted. ...
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Paradox about greenhouse effect?

I know about the greenhouse effect, but isn't earth receiving the same amount of energy but getting hotter than with that same amount of energy? My guess is that earth reflects less light, but then ...
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Could you use a balloon to show the drag from the gas/atmosphere of something orbitting near the ISS?

If a balloon were floating next to the International Space Station (ISS), how big, light, and/or dense would it need to be such that the gas/atmosphere at that distance from the earth's surface would ...
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Does blue light scattered from air molecules transmit them kinetic energy affecting their temperature?

If it cannot ionize them does blue light scattered from air molecules transmit them part of its kinetic energy so that their temperature increases? If scattering is weak in upper atmosphere, are there,...
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Blue laser scattering in the atmosphere: At what distance the laser source is no more seen as a pointlike source due to Rayleigh scattering?

Blue laser scattering in the atmosphere: At what distance the laser source is no more seen as a pointlike source due to Rayleigh scattering? Does this distance depend of the intensity of the laser ...
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Why the blue component of the moonlight is less scattered in Earth's atmosphere than the sunlight?

Why the blue component of the moonlight is less scattered in Earth's atmosphere than the sunlight? So when rising one of them looks yellow and the other red. Is this only matter of their brightness ...
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26 views

Atmospheric density derivation via canonical partition function

As the title points out i am trying to derive the atmospheric pressure. I understand the theory behind what i should do and how, but mathematically i have no idea how to proceed. First of all, ...
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1answer
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Trouble showing from first principles the equation describing the motion of a water drop through a cloud

If we had a water drop, initially of mass $m_0$ and speed $v_0$, falling through a cloud for a time T and during this time its mass increases at a constant rate $\alpha m_0$, through accretion of ...
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Why does moderately distant lightning sound the way it does: relatively quiet high pitched thunder first, and then much louder low pitched thunder?

Why does thunder, that is heard about five or ten seconds after the lightning is seen, start as relatively quiet high pitched 'crackling' thunder which is, about five or ten seconds later than that, ...
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What is the bare minimum of air density you need to fly a helicopter?

How high will a helicopter be able to fly before the propellers have not enough air particles to achieve lift? What is the minimum air density needed to achieve flight with a helicopter? Could you ...
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Cloud got trapped over Ayu Dag mountain in Crimea

Personally I was impressed by observing a cloud got trapped over Ayu Dag mountain in Crimea, Russia on 7th April 2021. It is said that it was possible to see the cloud during a few hours, then it ...
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Atmosphere on Mars

I am currently building a simulation for the perseverance rover landing on Mars. I need to work out the atmospheric density / pressure at various heights. I looked at Wikipedia and the NASA website ...
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Our sky is blue. Would a planet that has 1% of earth's atmospheric density have the same colour sky assuming the sun is exactly the same as ours?

If not then which colour would the sky be and why? Could you determine which elements the atmosphere is made of just by looking at the colour of the sky? Is it possible to know the density of a planet ...
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Why does the Sun appear white through clouds?

Why does the Sun appear white through clouds? It seems there should not be any absorption of, say, the reddish component, as this would not produce a white colour. So what is going on? Am I right that ...
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1answer
26 views

Gas regulator pressure

When I open the gas regulator, it pushes the pin and depress the valve in the cylinder which releases the gas out (am I right on this?). If that is the case, is gas released even when there is no hose ...
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Does burning natural gas reduce its greenhouse effect if it were to be released into the atmosphere?

Burning natural gas produces CO$_{2}$, a gas that contributes to the greenhouse effect. However, natural gas itself is a greenhouse gas, and its primary constituent, CH$_{4}$, has a GWP100 of about 30....
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Role of methane in global warming

I am a young student in physic and I am doing a little presentation on how does climate change works. So I went on the wikipedia page for greenhouse gases. I don't understant why methane is more ...
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25 views

Why is the Sun's surface a good example of grey atmosphere?

I'm approaching the study of elements of Astrophysics, and the teacher, while speaking about the grey atmosphere model, said that for the Sun's surface the model is a good approximation of what ...
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24 views

What voltage is needed to ionize oxygen at the centre of this ball and would we hear any noise from thunder?

The outer ball is 10 metres in diameter (its surface is the Earth's atmosphere) and a vacuum separates the outer ball from a 1 metre ball of atmospheric air which exists at atmospheric pressure. The ...
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Are clouds heavier than air?

Clouds are gatherings of water droplets floating in the air. Water droplets above a given size fall down as rain. But what about the water droplets forming the cloud---aren't they also heavier than ...
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3answers
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How far could you see from an airplane at 35,000 feet?

I have recently found a video claiming the earth is flat that shows a man in a plane above texas who can see the tip of Baja California. The distance between them is about 760 miles and I can't find ...
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1answer
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Why does the sky after sunset mimic the blackbody spectrum?

There are several answers on this site and elsewhere about why the sky is blue and why sunsets are reddish. But I could not find anything that discusses the relationship between the blackbody spectrum ...
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How to find the density lapse rate linked with the Brunt-Vaisala frequency?

I get an exercise about atmospheric thermodynamics. It is asked to prove density lapse rate satisfies the equation but I am confused which law should I start with. Show that the "density lapse ...
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19 views

Thermodynamic equation using Pressure and Density

I was going through "Atmospheric and Oceanic Fluid Dynamics" by Geoffrey Vallis and I got stuck on an equation from the 'Thermodynamic Equation for Fluids' section (1.6). Here the entropy is ...
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58 views

Always get ozone smell through basement windows, why?

We have a finished basement. The floor of the basement is about 5 feet below the outside ground level. The bottom of the windows is about 6 inches from the ground level and each measure 2' x 1' egress-...
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Wien's Displacement Law and reradiation of LWIR by $\rm CO_2$

Consider Wien's Displacement Law (if I understand correctly): λ = b / T Where, λ = Peak Wavelength b = 0.028977 mK (Wien's constant) T = Temperature According to this law $\rm CO_2$ molecules can only ...
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2answers
49 views

What is this atmospheric escape chart actually showing?

The wikipedia article on atmospheric escape has this chart: It all seems plausible enough... for a body to retain an atmosphere of a gas, the velocity of gas molecules in its exosphere must be mostly ...
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1answer
38 views

Is atmospheric pressure linearly dependent on atmospheric temperature?

Is it true that atmospheric pressure is linearly dependent on atmospheric temperature?
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1answer
48 views

Did Victor Hess discover cosmic rays directly, or muons with his gold-leaf electroscope?

Most histories just mention cosmic rays themselves, but I also read that cosmic rays themselves rarely make it far into Earth's atmosphere, and it is usually muons, (or tauons or electrons) detected ...
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Why could the early afternoon sky be pale yellow?

The sky at my home is very misty today, nothing special about that for a winter day. But the sky's color is unusually yellow, while it normally looks plain white. It is about 2 PM here, so definitely ...
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1answer
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Why is Earth's atmosphere made almost entirely of $\rm N_2$ and $\rm O_2$ molecules rather than any of the nitrogen oxides?

I assume the formation of $\rm N_2$ and $\rm O_2$ molecules is energetically favorable compared with N2O, NO, and NO2, etc., but are there some more intuitive arguments regarding the bonding and ...
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What is the explanation for this light during a rainbow?

I am puzzled by the two clear "beams" of light that I saw during a rainbow. I think that they are simply filtering sun light rays apparently converging at the antisolar point because of ...
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2answers
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Nocturnal freezing of water: Calculation of radiation through atmosphere?

I recently came across an article in Wikipedia, which claimed that medieval civilizations used to leave water out overnight in an insulated pot during clear and calm nights, which results in the ...
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Why is sunlight paler (whiter, less yellow) the further north you go?

I have just moved from Kent to County Donegal and it strikes me that the sunlight is whiter rather than yellow. I've noticed it before in Scotland. Why is this?
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Why are snowflakes flat?

There have been many questions and excellent answers in this community about the symmetry of snowflakes, e.g., here and here. There is however one aspect of snowflakes that does not seem clearly ...
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2answers
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Why is astronomy intensity interferometry immune to atmospheric turbulence?

I have read there is renewed interest in intensity interferometry in astronomy. I read that intensity interferometry is immune to atmospheric turbulence, which plagues astronomy and regular (amplitude)...
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56 views

Interpretation of the radius of curvature in atmospheric dynamics

I'm studying atmospheric dynamics and one concept confuses me a little bit. The circulation of wind flow can be characterised by a radius of curvature, $R$ that is taken positive for cyclonic flow (...
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1answer
58 views

Why do mountains disappear into the distance?

Traveling south on CA 99 we noticed that atmospheric conditions were exceptionally clear and played a little game attempting to determine how far away we could identify Shasta. As we got further and ...
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1answer
50 views

Why clear days are not alike: What's the atmospherical science of a clear day? [closed]

I was hoping for an ideal clear day (synoptically clear sky) to see the maximum power output for my solar setup at my latitude (43.5804° N, 7.1251° E). Simple enough I thought weeks ago. Well over the ...
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19 views

Earth's atmosphere as an oscillator

I have read that earth's atmosphere is an oscillator because it is effectively revolving about the earth. However, this is an example of forced oscillations because the moon also effect it with it's ...
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1answer
72 views

How does the kinetic-molecular theory explain why atmospheric pressure is greater at lower altitudes than at higher altitudes?

It is believed that pressure exerted by a gas is caused by "momentum exchanges by colliding molecules". Also it is a fact that the atmospheric pressure on a body is greater at lower ...
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3answers
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Why can human body sustain relatively high (e.g. up to 30 atm) external pressure?

I found out from the Internet that for average people it's fine to sustain up to 30 atm external pressure, for example when diving. However, given a typical human palm size of 80 cm$^2$, 1 atm means ...
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3answers
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If cold air is denser then why is compression associated with atmospheric heating?

If cold air is denser than warm air then I would assume compression of air would cause air to cool and expansion would cause air to heat up. Why is it the opposite?
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Is it true that there would be no snow without dust?

I've heard from my friend that snow flake forms around the tiny dust, flying in the atmosphere. I have not found any reliable source to confirm or reject it, that's why asking here. Is that always ...
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6answers
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Why does air pressure decrease with altitude?

I am looking to find the reason: why air pressure decreases with altitude? Has it to do with the fact that gravitational force is less at higher altitude due to the greater distance between the masses?...
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2answers
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Why is the sky red only in the west but not in the east during sunset if all other lights are scattered except red?

So I understand the basic principles of the scattering of light and how the shorter wavelengths like blue and green are scattered more during sunset/sunrise, causing us to see mainly the red light. If ...
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6answers
3k views

What is gravity's relationship with atmospheric pressure?

I'm asking for clarification here. If Earth had the same atmospheric mass per square unit of ground but the Earth had suddenly gained mass so it had twice the gravity at the surface, would the Earth ...
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1answer
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Estimating the upper limit for cloud formation?

I know that on our planet, the highest clouds reach up to the tropopause, roughly 10km above ground (varying from polar regions to tropics). If we ignore overshooting Cumulonimbus cloud tops and other ...
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27 views

Does air has surface?

Does air or any gas generally have a surface, like if we spread any has in total vacuum, they should also tend to gather together due to atleast gravitational attractions, if intermolecular forces are ...
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3answers
155 views

What is the reason of $dT/dh = 0$ in the gas column?

According to thermodynamics every adiabatic system and (with no external energy added) will reach thermodynamic equilibrium or an ergodic state (2 law of thermodynamics entropy can not decrease in a ...

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