# 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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### If Earth is curve and spinning, why plane flying in high altitude does not delayed?

If earth is spinning globe then the layer of athmosphere have a different tangential velocity for different altitude. For near the ground (solid surface of the earth) then the velocity of the air just ...
296 views

### How to Calculate the Mass of an Isothermal Atmosphere

A homework question asks us to assume that the Earth's atmosphere is isothermal, and calculate the mass of the atmosphere. It gives no other suggestion as to how we might approach this computation. ...
247 views

### Atmospheric Pressure + Added Pressure

If someone is at sea level and they put ten pounds of air pressure into a container does the container now have 10 + 14.5 = 24.5 pounds of air pressure. Do we not add the atmospheric pressure? Seems ...
603 views

### Does less gravity means less air density?

I have actually two different questions that may result in the same answer. The first one : if the Earth would have less gravity, would it result in less air density? The second one : On a ...
268 views

### Why we won't extract heat from air temperature?

There is a lot of energy in air's temperature? Why don't you harvest it? There is always difference that creates flow which can be piped into something converting it to mechanical energy...
75 views

### If Earth had gravity and atmosphere, but no Sun, will Temprature change with altitude?

Gravity pulls down the atmosphere thus creating higher Atmospheric Pressure close to the surface, This pressure is adding Force to air molecules, and since Heat is essentially adding force to ...
4k views

### Why is it hot before raining?

What causes the temperature hike before a rain? I have heard explanations like one that says as the moisture rises, you sweat more. Can somebody provide a more scientific explanation for this.
195 views

### Does the brightness of day follow simple harmonic 'motion'?

Is it really true that the brightness during the day on earth follows simple harmonic motion? My teacher mentioned this as an example but it doesn't feel obvious to me by any stretch of the ...
137 views

### How warm are rain drops?

I thought of this question after a week of jogging, where each day after it rained, the temperature seemed warmer. I also noted this as a lifeguard where, after closing the pool due to thunder, we ...
191 views

### Lifting submerged straw above 10m

Suppose a long rigid pipe (e.g., 30m) open at both ends is completely submerged into some deep body of water. The pipe gets completely filled with water. Then, one end gets closed and the pipe is ...
54 views

### What makes air to spin?

The phenomenon is observed in tornadoes where the air spins with a great speed causing so much damage. Can there be any experiment that can be performed to make the air spin in clockwise or ...
199 views

### What's the point of normalizing air pressure in the weather report?

If I were to check the weather report on a typical day where I live I would probably see that the air pressure is something like 101kPa. I understand that this has been normalized to sea-level. In ...
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### Interpretation of constant length scale in ionospheric propagation

I'm studying electromagnetic propagation in the ionosphere. The starting point is Maxwell's Equations in an inhomogeneous medium, plus the assumption that these inhomogeneities occur at length scales ...
1k views

### Why does the sun/moon appear red when there are fires?

Recently, in the United States, the moon and sun have become very deep red when they are near the horizon. The reason given for this is that there have been extensive wild fires in the Northwest. So, ...
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### Difficulty in understanding the derivation of “average height of Earth's atmosphere”

The derivation follows. Starting from the basic barometric formula $p(x)$ where $x$ is the height and $m$ - mass of one "air molecule" $$p=p_0\exp\left(-\frac{mgx}{kT}\right)$$ and using the fact that ...
223 views

### Why 8 am is darker than 12 pm?

Why is 8 am (just after sunrise) darker than 12 pm (noon)? Does it have something to do with the geometry of spheres? Or is it due to the atmosphere?
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### Does a beam of light change direction when it leaves the atmosphere?

Imagine a laser beam shining straight up from the surface of the earth. As the light gains altitude it encounters less and less air and soon no air at all. My question is when it leaves the refractive ...
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### Stratification vs Compressibility

This is a rather peculiar question to ask because as far as I know these two have sort of independent definitions, i.e. stratification is not necessarily associated with fluid motion on the other hand ...
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### Saturation-like effect of the atmosphere on sunlight?

Does the atmosphere have any kind of saturation effect whereby the intensity of the light hitting the surface of the earth is non-linearly proportional to the output of the sun? In other words, is ...
527 views

### What are the properties of a sonic shock wave?

An aircraft travelling faster than sound creates a shockwave. How dense is the air in this shockwave, and how thick is the shockwave? Is this a range or a definite number? I realize the shockwave ...
2k views

### How does Earth hold its atmosphere?

According to Einstein's theory of relativity, gravity is not pulling us down but space is pushing us down. This mean there is no gravity and its an illusion. So, in this scenario how does Earth hold ...
915 views

### Estimating the current speed of sound

This question is not about the theory but about getting a moderately accurate (ideally 1%) estimate of the speed of sound in the current conditions. The range of conditions that I am interested in ...
279 views

### Earth's rotation and a helicopter [duplicate]

Imagine a helicopter that took off from point A on the ground and goes vertically in the air to a certain fixed point B in the atmospheric area at a certain fixed altitude with enough fuel to stay ...
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A tornado can be faster than sound, on Earth? Please explain as for a 6 years old (I am not the one interested in tornadoes).
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### Why are nearby clouds so different in brightness?

I was traveling in the day time from Saint-Petersburg to Sochi and was watching various clouds passing by. After some time I noticed that even though some clouds are very close to each other, they ...
4k views

### Why does the Sun appear larger during the sunrise and sunset?

Why does the Sun appear larger during sunrise and sunset compared to its size during midday even though its distance from the Earth remains fixed all the day? It is only during the Winter when the Sun ...
125 views

### Which is the same between two connected rooms, relative or absolute humidity?

Question: Consider two glass bottles filled with humid air, connected with a tube. One of the glasses is hot (heated), the other is cold (cooled) and the situation is steady state. How will humidity ...
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### Atmospheric Propagation

What near visible wavelengths will propagate through the atmosphere, and more specifically clouds and haze, to provide useful high resolution (~1ft?) imagery from space?
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### Why is there a large dip in the spectral distribution of sunlight at 760 nm?

I'm doing research with the spectral distribution of sunlight and I noticed that there was a large dip in wavelength at 760 nm. I was wondering if anyone knew why that was! My thoughts were that there ...
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### Do in our atmosphere at least two positions exist where there is no wind?

If we look at a two-dimensional sphere and draw a continuous vector field on it, you can compare this with a tennis ball whose hairs you comb in a continuous way. Two points on the ball will have an ...
544 views

### Approximately how much x-ray to gamma radiation penetrates the earth's current atmosphere?

I am a science fiction writer with an undergrad level of understanding in this particular area. I am trying to figure out how the changes in the atmosphere will affect the higher end of the radiation ...
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### Is the Sun disk always surrounded by a rainbow?

Today was one of the rare clear sunny days in my city, and I was watching the Sun for several hours. When looking with naked eyes at the sky very near the Sun, standing on the border of a shadow of a ...
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### Why large excavated holes can create air currents?

My friend shared this post on my wall, but I got doubt: How can a hole like this create air currents which suck helicopterss also? I didn't really understand.
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### Why don't cloud water droplets fall to the ground? [duplicate]

Clouds are made of extremely small droplets of water ranging from 1 to 100 microns. Their high surface area to volume ratio means that air resistance would greatly slow their fall. However, ...
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### What accuracy atmospheric reading is needed when calculating dose in Radion onchology?

When determining the dose in radiation delivery systems used in radiation Oncology, the atmosphere attenuates radiation from the source before it hits the target. The dose is calculated using, among ...
4k views

### Why is the tropopause at a higher altitude at the equator?

This site says that the tropopause is at a higher altitude at the equator because: Gravitational force from a point is higher closer to it and reduces with increasing distance from it. Because ...
3k views

### Why can our bodies bleed? [duplicate]

Human systolic pressure is 16 kPa and diastolic 11 kPa but Earth atmosphere pressure is 101.325 kPa. I don't understand why when we are hurt we bleed instead of air enter into our body. How can blood ...
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### Is there any noise in or around cumulus / cumulonimbus clouds?

From the ground you obviously cannot hear any sound from a developing cumulus cloud, no matter how vigorous it is. BUT: Are there sound waves generated, e.g. at the cloud edges where there is a lot of ...
11k views

### Why does the Earth cool at night time?

I do understand that open water and open ground cools by the means of convection — lower air takes the heat and goes up, where it cools. But why does the Earth lose energy and where does it go? Does ...
48 views

### Water vapor carbon dioxide temperature (warming) nonlinear feedback mechanism

In this Youtube video clip starting at 1:12:45 of the debate on the feedback mechanism of the CO$_2$-water-vapour warming effect Professor Richard Lindzen stated that the feedback mechanism is not ...
128 views

### Why neglect gravity in Kutta-Joukowski theorem?

In an example I was asked to calculate the lift force using Bernoulli's equation $$u^2/2 \ + p/\rho +gz \ = \ constant$$ and show that its consistent with Kutta-Joukowski theorem, but seems like ...
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### Does solar radiation stimulate formation of clouds?

Observing the sky for multiple months during winter and spring I noticed that on cloudy days sunset correlates with clearer sky than at daytime. And backwards, several tens of minutes after sunrise ...
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### How big of an impact does the Earth's magnetic field have on us? [closed]

How big of an impact does the earth magnetic field have on us?
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### Can solar panels cool the atmosphere? [duplicate]

I am just curious if solar panels, because they absorb radiation, cool the atmosphere. If there were enough of them, would the temperature be different? I'm not a physicist or student.
544 views

### How would look the Aurora on earth like if there wasn't a magnetic field?

Suppose the earth wasn't surrounded by a magnetic field. How would the Aurora look like? Would we see a sky full of colored star-like lights, with the color dependent on the energies of the incident ...
288 views

### Which frequencies of IR and UV light best penetrate the atmosphere with least interference?

We are exploring concept of setting up transceivers on lighter than air airships and balloons about 100,000 feet up in the stratosphere. They will be used for transmitting and receiving information ...
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### Orbital sunshade over the poles

Blocking sunlight to an area 5-7 million sq miles, in a shape of a pie, with the center 100,000 sq miles left out. We have the technology to make a fabric of nano-tubes for strength, reflective or ...
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### How does a sound's intensity change as it travels from the upper atmosphere to the ground?

Let's say a sound with power $10^9$ W is produced at an altitude of 20,000 m. Using a simple inverse square law, I calculate that this has sound an intensity of about \$10^9 / (4\cdot\pi\cdot20000^2) = ...