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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1answer
37 views

Electron distribution in Low Earth Orbit

I have been searching online for some kind of pdf function that describes the charged electron distribution in Low Earth Orbit in regards to their energies. Any ideas on whether something like that ...
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2answers
101 views

Why does the Sun appear more round while distant stars can appear more pointed?

In a minute physics video about the shapes of stars, it mentions that stars in the night sky appear star-shaped due to imperfections in our eyes known as suture lines which cause diffraction. Then ...
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1answer
35 views

Why is it that the wind over land in day(low pressure) move to the sea(high pressure)?

According to my understanding, wind moves from its region of higher pressure to its region of lower pressure. So during sea breeze, cold wind over the sea(high pressure) blows to the land(low pressure)...
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2answers
209 views

Radiation absorption by $CO_2$ molecule in atmosphere

What kind of radiation (light) does CO2 molecule absorb -UV or IR? I've read that it's infrared however some sources suggest ultraviolet. If so, how might it be possible?
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1answer
988 views

Earth-like Atmosphere Breaks Second Law of Thermodynamics due to Conduction?

Consider a neutral gas around an Earth-like atmosphere with density, pressure and temperature given by $\rho,\ p$ and $T$ respectively. To keep the system a closed system assume that the atmosphere is ...
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2answers
92 views

Colors of the Aurora

I've seen several web pages that attempt to explain the colours of the aurora but they seem to gloss over or leave out certain details, so I'm still confused. For example, this page explains it in ...
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2answers
95 views

Why do cyclones have translational motion?

This answer provides a good explanation why cyclones (e.g. hurricanes, typhoons, and tornadoes) have rotary motion. However, cyclones usually also have translational motion -- they move from place to ...
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0answers
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Why do random slabs stay dry in the rain?

The image below shows the slabbed area I can see from my work window Whenever it rains some of the slabs stay dry however, it is never consistent which ones. Can anyone explain why this happens to ...
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2answers
96 views

Blocking of infrared radiation from the sun by $\rm CO_2$ [duplicate]

Why is the infrared heat from the sun not prevented from entering the earth's atmosphere by $\rm CO_2$ to the same extent that it is prevented from leaving the Earth's atmosphere?
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1answer
103 views

What type of mirage is this?

I am very new to the world of mirages and would like some information as to the type of mirage in this picture which I took this morning. It is the cargo ship African Kalmia which passed my location ...
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2answers
71 views

Why is sunscreen more important in the middle of the day?

I suppose that if the Earth had no atmosphere and no magnetosphere, then when standing up on the surface of the Earth -- say, on the equator -- my body would catch more radiation from the sun in the ...
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1answer
41 views

Evaporation amount of water for a Storm [closed]

How much water from the ocean is evaporated for a storm over water? I am trying to figure out what conditions will cause the most evaporation or how to calculate the amount of water evaporated for a ...
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1answer
95 views

For a lay person, what if there was no atmosphere? [closed]

What if there was no atmosphere (or little like on the moon)? Could I then hover above and watch the Earth below turn? Originally I queried, "why couldn't a person just float up in a balloon, hover ...
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1answer
3k views

Does more light from Andromeda get scattered in the atmosphere than in the entire trip to Earth?

Fires have been burning here in Northern California. Today there was just a slight haze of smoke. The sun had a slight red hue to it. As expected the lower it got the redder it became. The blue light ...
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1answer
43 views

Why do our eyes perceive changes in apparent position of stars as twinkling?

Okay, so we all know that the changes in refractive index leads to continuous changes in star's apparent position but then why don't we see them moving up and down rather than brighten and dim in ...
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2answers
305 views

Only sea water appears blue in color, why this is not happening in river water?

Is the salt in the water the reason for scattering sunlight into blue?
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1answer
271 views

Does dew point change with change of ambient temperature?

I know dew point is the temperature at which air becomes saturated with vapor that was already in the air. So if I take some unsaturated air in a container and lower it's temperature, eventually at ...
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1answer
86 views

Some Rayleigh Scattering questions

Last week I've heard about Rayleigh scattering for the first time, when the classic 'why is the sky blue?' question has crossed my mind and I must admit that it is fascinating! However, I do have a ...
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1answer
138 views

Superior Mirage

I've been fascinated about mirages and never thought I'd get to see a superior mirage. I live on the south coast of England and enjoy a distant view of the English channel. Last Friday 3 August 2018 ...
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1answer
61 views

The link between two definitions of “potential density”

In Kundu's book , 4ed, P21, they define the potential density $\rho_\theta$ like this: However, later in P22, they define the potential density gradient as It seems to me that the potential density ...
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2answers
51 views

What if the luminosity of Sunlight increased by 10% [closed]

If the luminosity of sunlight increased by 10%, would people be able to survive outside? Would such brightness of light be very harmful to them, for exemple as much as the Mercury Vapour Lamp without ...
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2answers
51 views

what is the refraction index in the upper atmosphere(e.g Theromosphere)?

I've been searching for the refraction index in the upper atmosphere such as Stratosphere and Thermosphere but I can't find it, all that I've seen is all equation without any number that I can use it. ...
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3answers
84 views

Max. air temperature on Earth [duplicate]

Is there any max. temperature that air on Earth could reach, assuming that solar radiation is standard and the average temperature on Earth is 14.6 like today? I mean, is there any chance that the ...
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3answers
149 views

Ocean density vs atmosphere density

I understand that the density of the oceans on Earth in on average constant regardless of the depth. It is 1020 kg/m^3 at the surface and 1050 kg/m^3 at deep waters. I understand too that this is not ...
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2answers
85 views

Global warming and air temperature

The layman's question. Is there a maximum temperature that can be reached by air on Earth due to global warming? For example, one that would prevent living organisms from functioning? I read somewhere ...
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1answer
28 views

Earth-like atmosphere on Mars, possible?

I recently watched a TED talk by a journalist, Stephen Petranek, in which he talks about colonization of Mars. Reaching the end of the presentation he talks about terraforming the planet, making it "...
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1answer
163 views

Can Rayleigh scattering explain the orange color of the Titan sky?

It is my understanding that Rayleigh scattering depends on both the length of the particle as well as the wavelength. Due to the similar lengths of molecular nitrogen and oxygen it is blue light that ...
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1answer
524 views

Why can't hot air balloons fly higher then helium balloons?

I have read these questions: Hot air balloon trajectory predictions Do atmospheric physics prevent hot air balloons from ascending over 60,000ft? What is precisely the reason that a helium balloon ...
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1answer
35 views

What are the benefits of direct sun viewing spectrometer over a backscatter measuring spectrometer to quantify trace gases in the atmosphere?

I am using a Pandora spectrometer and a MAX-DOAS spectrometer to quantify the amount of formaldehyde (HCHO) present in the troposphere and stratosphere in Fairbanks, Alaska. Both the spectrometers use ...
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0answers
54 views

How to know atmospheric pressure on surface of another planet?

While reading this Wikipedia, the article says that, “The air pressure at Venus' surface is about 92 times that of the Earth.” I’m familiar with the barometric equation and it’s derivation, however I ...
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1answer
64 views

How do we not feel the speed of rotation of Earth?

Many people say, we don't feel the speed because everything around us including the air moves with the same speed, but I am not satisfied with the explanation. If it was so, shouldn't we feel a huge ...
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1answer
58 views

Night Louder Than The Day [duplicate]

Have you guys ever felt that it is quiet at night than in comparison to day?I'm known with the fact that reduction in people's activity makes night quiet...but is there something else which in a way ...
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0answers
209 views

What are the average wavelengths and brightnesses of sunlight across the stages of twilight?

I understand that before sunrise, twilight shows several colors, so I'm looking for the average color (wavelength) and brightness (lux) of light that is being projected from the sky before the sun ...
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0answers
21 views

Slowing the late descent of an atmospheric probe in a gas/ice giant exploration [closed]

I remember the 1995 descent of the Galileo atmospheric module in Jupiter atmosphere. The robust casing made it withstand several dozens of bars of pressure before going out. What measures could be ...
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0answers
47 views

Why is the color of aurora borealis the way it is?

Why is aurora borealis mostly green, instead of pink, even though green light is emitted by excited oxygen atoms and pink light by excited nitrogen atoms? As nitrogen is present almost more than ...
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1answer
46 views

What makes an object mirror? [duplicate]

All objects reflect some of the colours and then our eyes are able to see object of different colours. But when we see mirage in a desert then it seems that the sand of the desert is acting as a ...
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1answer
57 views

Is it possible for a planet or a moon to exist with absolutely zero atmosphere?

Mercury has an atmosphere, no matter how thin that might be. Scientists say that the space is not completely empty because we can always find a few hydrogen atoms per kilometer all over the outer ...
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2answers
5k views

What is the scientific explanation for radio waves bending around the Earth?

The experiment This experiment is documented in a documentary called Convex Earth. The exact location the following information is taken from starts at 14:25. High frequency directional antennas are ...
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1answer
13 views

Molecular basis for increased water uptake by warm air

Whats the molecular basis why warm air can uptake more water than cooler air?
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1answer
38 views

Energy of UV Light

How much energy does UV light, in the atmosphere, exert? For example, I know that CFCs were outlawed because the UV light was providing sufficient energy (BDE) to break the chlorine bonds and ...
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1answer
792 views

Why microwaves used in satellite communications?

I've been reading recently that:- EM waves with a shorter wavelength have shorter range in air/other medium Microwaves are used in satellite communications over radio waves. This doesn't make sense ...
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2answers
231 views

Sodium sometimes absorbs orange-yellow light, sometimes emits it? Huh?

Usually, we are told that sodium emits orangish-yellowish light, which is why city streetlamps are that color. Now, I read in New Scientist magazine that exoplanet WASP-96b is bluish because the ...
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2answers
1k views

Why is this cloud blue?

I saw these clouds on the horizon, behind a ridge (apologies I couldn't get more pixels): Why is the front cloud darker than the cloud behind? There were no other clouds that I saw which could've ...
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1answer
88 views

Are North aurora and South aurora produced by positive and negative particles respectively?

Are North aurora and South aurora produced by positive and negative particles respectively?
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2answers
51 views

Observations of a mushroom cloud

In this video of a nuclear bomb detonation/mushroom cloud, a few peculiarities arise and I simply had a couple questions pertaining to observations in the animation: Following the detonation, the ...
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5answers
7k views

Why aren't rainbows more common?

Why are rainbows relatively rare? On any given day, there are billions of water drops in the air of varying sizes and dispersions, all of which light is passing through and refracting. What physical ...
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3answers
260 views

Is wind caused by differences in the atmospheric pressure or by differences in the atmospheric temperature or both?

I have heard that "Wind is caused by differences of atmospheric pressure" and "Wind is caused by differences of atmospheric temperature" both but I don't know for case that doesn't follow one of this. ...
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1answer
54 views

Inertia over an airplane [duplicate]

When an airplane is traveling, it moves at the same speed as the earth does due to inertia, but since, the plane is not directly touching the globe, how does is the speed of the earth is associated ...
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2answers
103 views

Given $2\text{ °C}$ atmospheric temperature rise, what would be the temperature increase if confined to an oven?

Consider the 2 °C average global atmospheric temperature rise as discussed by the IPCC. Assume an oven with an the interior that is a perfect cube having a volume of one cubic meter, empty of ...
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4answers
177 views

Energy Transport in stars

I'm trying to understand why convection is an efficient mode of energy transport in the outer layers of the solar interior. Could anyone give me a little bit of knowledge?