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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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Ordered arrangement of clouds

I happened to take a photograph of a region of clouds ,and it seems to have a rather ordered arrangement ,if one looks towards the left of the image. Would there be a physical explanation for this or ...
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2answers
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What causes the color difference of lightning flashes?

Some flashes of lightning are seen in a blue shade while some have a yellowish/orange appearance .What is the possible cause of colour difference?
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4answers
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What causes the direction of lightning flashes?

During a lightning strike, the flashes appear as cloud to ground or cloud to cloud .Why is this the only manner of propagation? Why do the flashes not go upwards from the clouds? Pardon me if the ...
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1answer
51 views

Red colour of the Great Red Spot

In Wikipedia it is mentioned: "It is not known exactly what causes the Great Red Spot's reddish color. Hypotheses supported by laboratory experiments suppose that the color may be caused by ...
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Why the source function is equal to Planck function when we have a local thermodynamic equilibrium?

I understand that the source function $ S_λ $ for the special case of blackbody radiation is equal to the Planck function $B_λ $. However, in the broader case of a local thermodynamic equilibrium (...
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5answers
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If atmospheric pressure is 76 cm of $\text{Hg}$ , why won't 76 cm of mercury stay in an open tube when suspended in air?

If we keep an hold a tube in air with the closed end up and open end downwards, containing mercury upto a length of 76 cm, why does the mercury not stay in place? Shouldn't atmospheric pressure exert ...
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1answer
48 views

quantum mechanical treatment of rayleigh scatterring

Is there a quantum mechanical explanation of light scattering by atmospheric gases? Classically, treating the atmospheric particles as excited dipole antennas, we know that the amount of scattering is ...
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2answers
55 views

How big would the moon appear with no atmosphere? [duplicate]

I know that atmospheric lensing is what causes the moon to look bigger on the horizon, but I assume this effect is still taking place when the moon is overhead too, albeit to a smaller effect. However,...
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Proper atmospheric laser propagation including reflections

I'm attempting to model the propagation of a laser beam (specifically, its beam radius) through the atmosphere, bouncing off a (curved) surface. This is fairly simple up to the surface itself, but I'm ...
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2answers
54 views

Can Mars have an oxygen atmosphere?

It is my understanding that, in its gaseous state, oxygen molecules move fast enough to achieve escape velocity. On Earth, we see this more clearly with helium. Regardless of what's happening on ...
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2answers
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Temperature as function of $CO_2$

The carbon stored in fossil fuels must have been taken out of the earth atmosphere from CO2 in past periods by plants. Thereby reducing the amount of CO2 drastically and increasing the amount of O2 to ...
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0answers
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Difference in rotation of the atmosphere at different levels

The atmosphere near ground level rotates at the same rate (on average) as the earth's surface because of drag effects beween air and ground, and continues to rotate because of inertia. Correct? My ...
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1answer
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Why does the location of the north magnetic pole vary faster than that of the south magnetic pole?

Noticing what Wikipedia asserts about the variation of the locations of the magnetic poles over time, e.g., 1998 $\sim$ 2000 to 2015, one would notice that the location of the north magnetic pole ...
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4answers
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Why is air pressure higher in winter than in summer?

At the top of a mountain, say Mt Everest, atmospheric pressure is low. So shouldn't the same thing be true for winter season. I.e air pressure in winters should be lesser than that in summers. But ...
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3answers
109 views

Why is methane considered an important greenhouse gas?

Methane’s absorption bands are centered at 3.2 and 7.2 microns -- far off the peak of the Planck spectrum for a 290 K blackbody near 16 microns. Moreover, its absorption bands overlap with the water ...
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1answer
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Which electric field does E represents in the Ionospheric Dynamo Current equation?

In Ionospheric Dynamo Current equation $j=\sigma(E+v\times B)$ where $j$ is the current density, $\sigma$ is the tensor conductivity, $v$ is the velocity of the tidal wind velocity (hence the ...
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Distance of rainbow from observer [duplicate]

I have been reading about rainbows and I know that there is a different rainbow for each observer. Also the rainbow is centred on a line joining the head of a person to his shadow. What does it mean? ...
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1answer
57 views

Does sky luminance really decrease in steps as the Sun goes deeper under the horizon?

Playing with some atmospheric scattering simulations, I've come across a fact that, as the Sun goes lower under the horizon, sky luminance (neglecting sources of light other than the Sun) appears to ...
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3answers
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Is there a difference between the red sky in the morning and in the evening?

It certainly has a different feeling to it, but does the temperature or earth's rotation or the clouds or anything else really make it two different physical phenomena or at least different colors? ...
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1answer
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Bouyancy of ozone gas

If ozone is $O_3$ why is it an outer layer of the atmosphere? It seems $O_3$ would sink in a solution of $O_2$, rather than float on it.
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1answer
36 views

If the Sun had a larger surface temperature how would that affect its appearance to us in the sky?

I thought about this when I came across wiens displacement law which says the higher the temperature, the lower the peak wavelength. If the sun was a lot hotter, and its peak wavelength wasn't in the ...
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4answers
4k views

To what extent do (man made) generators of heat from internal sources in earth's system cause climate change?

So I'm very far from a climate scientist but I've always wondered, why don't things like electric heaters, lightbulbs, etc, contribute to climate change, or even things like the accelerated decay of ...
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1answer
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Light in atmosphere versus space

The atmosphere appears bright because of scattering of light whereas space appears dark due no atmosphere to aid scattering. Is it possible to demonstrate it with such darkness in a huge vaccum ...
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1answer
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How much does temperature affect the time of sunrise?

Please forgive me if this is a dumb question, or if my understanding of basic physics is wrong. Please feel free to correct me. As I understand it, if the Earth didn't have any atmosphere, then the ...
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1answer
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Is it possible to drain all oceans' water to space? [duplicate]

Assuming: That I have an ideal straw (a very long pipe) from the ocean to space; That the straw (pipe) is ideal (will not break); That i can pump all the air from the pipe creating vacuum inside the ...
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3answers
1k views

Are rainbows three dimensional? If so, what determines their depth? [duplicate]

I am wondering whether rainbows are three dimensional, and if so, what determine their depth? How to calculate the depth of a rainbow, given its radius? From what I understand, all rainbows are ...
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1answer
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Relationship between CO2 concentration and thermal conductivity of the air in a volume?

How much would the percentage of CO2 in a room need to change in order to make a measurable change (using transient hot wire method) to the thermal conductivity of the air inside room? Are there other ...
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1answer
73 views

Why does high pressure cause clear skies?

In high-pressure areas, air falls, but why does high pressure leads to clear, sunny skies?
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1answer
69 views

While flying over Rome we noticed that during sunset, there was a green color between the red and blue of the sunset sky. What causes it?

The picture has only been trimmed and not edited. The green is visible when the red or orange tapers off into the blue. Is this different from what causes the green flash? We were flying from Rome.
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2answers
77 views

How does scattering of light happen in atmosphere?

I know that the scattering of light decreases as inversely proportional to the 4th power of wavelength. But what happens at the atomic level? Does the photon get absorbed and re-emitted? Does the ...
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0answers
38 views

What is the contribution of conductive heating to atmospheric warming?

I know someone who disputes the idea that the Earth's atmospheric temperature would average -18 deg C in the absence of greenhouse gasses. He maintains that conductive heating would warm the air and ...
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4answers
44 views

Do CFCs get emitted in air from appliances?

Do the refrigerators and air conditioners that use CFC or HCFC cause damage to the environment even when they are working normally. I mean, is there any gas emission under normal conditions when the ...
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0answers
19 views

How does brightness affect color? [duplicate]

How does brightness affect the color of light? For instance, the sun might be yellow because of the blue scattering when the light travels through the atmosphere - but if you look at it, it seems ...
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2answers
111 views

Why does the sun always have some whiteness? [duplicate]

So the atmosphere scatters light on its way to earth, making the color of our sky. For example, when the sky is blue on a clear, sunny day, the sunlight appears somewhat yellow because the blue light ...
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1answer
91 views

Sound and gravity

How would heavier gravity (or lighter gravity) affect sound in terms of what I hear? For example, say there is a planet that is capable of supporting human life, but it has heavier gravity than ...
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174 views

Is there a difference in the infrared absorption spectrum of a greenhouse gas when pure and when mixed with non-greenhouse gases?

According to the standard IPCC greenhouse climate change hypothesis a doubling of the preindustrial CO2 concentration of 285 ppm in the atmosphere - the current value is 405 ppm - would lead to an ...
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0answers
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Satellite radiance measurements in spectral regions

Q: A satellite measures longwave radiation emerging from a planet with uniform surface temperature T1 and uniform atmospheric temperature T2. What values of radiance does the satellite measure in the ...
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2answers
35 views

Regarding the $E x B$ drift in the Earth's magnetic field

So I have a burning question: The only reason that the E x B drift doesn't generate an electric current is because both the electrons and the positive ions move towards the same direction (towards ...
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1answer
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Rayleigh Scattering, Atmosphere-Dependant

I've come across the Wikipedia article on Rayleigh Scattering and it quotes that In detail, the intensity $I$ of light scattered by any one of the small spheres of diameter $d$ and refractive ...
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1answer
36 views

Determination of the variability of different spectra over shorter wavelength ranges from that of a single spectrum?

To pictographically explain, how do you convert Fig. 1 to Fig. 2? Fig. 1 to Fig. 2
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1answer
60 views

How did Mars lose all its surface water?

A lot of geological evidence suggests that Mars once had quite a bit of surface water. I assume it wasn't whisked away into space, so where did it all go? What processes caused the water to go there? ...
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2answers
66 views

Would a supersonic object without a combustion power source leave behind a contrail?

Contrails, as far as I understand them, are caused by either a pressure change that forces the condensation of H2O(g) OR by the release of warm H2O from a combustion engine. Most plane contrails, I ...
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4answers
380 views

Why does the warm air rises up?

Warm air has more energy than cold air. This means that according to the Einstein equation $E = mc^2$ the warmer air has a greater mass than the cold one. Why is the warm air rising, if it has a ...
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2answers
60 views

Why do gas giants have similarly coloured stripes?

After looking at Jupiter and searching 'exoplanets gas giants' on google I found that many had stripes on them. I found that pretty peculiar. So why do they have stripes. I think it has something to ...
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2answers
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Would a human die from high air pressure at the bottom of the Mariana trench if it wasn't under water?

I read an article recently about gelatinous fish that live deep underwater, and if they were brought up to the surface would 'melt' due to the lower pressure not supporting their bodies. This got me ...
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1answer
60 views

Air Pressure in a Mine

In Sunday's "60 Minutes" TV program the correspondent descended into a gold mine said to be 2 miles (3 km) deep. What equation describes the air pressure relative to sea level atmospheric pressure?
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1answer
60 views

Water at 0 atmospheric pressure

Suppose I put a bucket of water on the surface of the Earth. Then somehow the atmosphere disappears. My question is: Would the water fly out of the bucket, or would it be still there? My reasoning ...
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1answer
37 views

why high pressure systems are colder in temperate climates?

How do we derive equations which relate the temperature and pressure anywhere in the atmosphere? (assuming earth is still so no coriolis effect and flat if that makes the problem any easier). Like ...
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2answers
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What kind of outdoor weather is ideal for condensing moisture that's in air?

What kind of outdoor weather is ideal for condensing moisture that's in air? Temperature, humidity? Does condensation increase the more difference in temperatures there is?
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3answers
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Can we theoretically guide cold air from high altitude down to the needy cities as free AC?

If you had an insulated tube (approximate size say 15k feet (5km) tall, 50ft (15m) diameter) with the top end open and bottom end closed, would the air in the tube eventually become as cold as the ...