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
764 views

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.
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2answers
555 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 ...
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293 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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1answer
37 views

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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0answers
41 views

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) = ...
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1answer
62 views

If longer wavelengths propagate further, why does infrared contribute to global warming instead of going through clouds?

Maybe I am not understanding something simple, but longer wavelengths go through things easier correct? So why is it that infrared heat is REFLECTED by the clouds and contributes to global warming? ...
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1answer
126 views

What external pressure is required to burst a soap bubble with a radius of 4 cm?

What external pressure is required to burst a soap bubble with a radius of 4 cm? I'm looking to learn more about bubbles and I would really appreciate some help with this. So, I'm doing this practice ...
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2answers
903 views

How to see wind?

Is there a wavelength of light at which you could see air moving? I was thinking it would be amazing to put on a pair of goggles which enables you to see how air moves around across a landscape, while ...
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0answers
63 views

How is it possible to see Surfer's Paradise from Coolangatta?

I've came across some photos in the internet, which were taken at Coolangatta. In this photos, it's possible to see the buildings from Surfer's Paradise(both of these places are located in Australia). ...
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0answers
74 views

How does the Greenhouse Effect of $CO_2$ modify the classical explanation for atmospheric lapse rate?

Classical physics theory relating to gravity and the properties of gases seems to dictate that the lapse rate of a planetary atmospheres is determined by just 2 factors. The equation being $-g/c$, ...
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45 views

Carbon dioxide global warming - marginal rate of warming [closed]

Will continuously adding units of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere at a constant rate result in a decreasing rate of warming, a constant rate of warming, or an increasing rate of warming? (Assuming, ...
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1answer
209 views

Why does the speed of sound relate to temperature in increasing altitude?

This graph is very puzzling to me. It is my understanding that the speed of sound relates to the density of the media it travels through. Sound travels faster in water, and even faster in steel. So ...
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2answers
184 views

Heating up the atmosphere of Mars

In this article: https://users.physics.ox.ac.uk/~pierrehumbert/papers/BAMS_SFatm.pdf, Raymond Pierrehumbert discusses (among other things) how Kim Stanley Robinson deals with the terraformation of ...
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3answers
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Why aren’t sunsets red when viewed from low earth orbit?

So “Why are sunsets red?” seems to be a pretty common question and it has to do with Rayleigh scattering in the atmosphere. I’m following some game dev tutorials (example implementation) on how to ...
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54 views

What are the formulae for quantifying the back radiation from greenhouse gases?

I am trying to find the formulae for quantifying the back radiation from greenhouse gases including CO2 and CH4 for the purposes of designing useful products such as more efficient double glazing ...
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0answers
62 views

Will a balloon explode if taken to a lower height?

i'm in 9th standard and we've read that a when a air-filled ballon is taken to a greater height, it explodes due to imbalance in atmospheric pressure. Does this also happen when a filled balloon is ...
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1answer
193 views

Does the kinetic energy of an individual water molecule (vapor) decrease as it goes up in the atmosphere?

I'm trying to explain this to my 8th grade brother. But I don't seem to understand this fully... I keep getting stuck because of my poor knowledge in thermodynamics. I'd like to ask a related question ...
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2answers
194 views

Why don't we get VIBGYOR instead of white light?

Why doesn't the atmosphere disperse white light from the Sun like a prism as air is a dispersive medium? If it really did so, shouldn't we be receving the 7 colours separately instead of one?
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1answer
3k views

Can a rainbow be seen from above

I saw this picture of a "rainbow from above" Based on what I understand about rainbows, some googling and my experience chasing them, if I saw one and try to fly above it, the phenomenon will ...
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1answer
63 views

If you released a book from the thermosphere or mesosphere would the book float slightly?

If you released a book from the thermosphere or mesosphere would the book float slightly?
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2answers
149 views

Mobile phone wavebands and signal attenuation

We know low freqs. (800 Mhz) are preferred for rural area for they are travelling great distances. So, why do em waves (of mobile phones) with lower frequencies travel greater distances than em waves ...
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1answer
86 views

What produces high and low meteorological pressure areas?

I know the common explanation is that the hot air raises due to lower density and creates a low pressure zone and the air then flows from high pressure (cold) to low pressure (warm) areas, but that ...
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2answers
494 views

What determines the pattern, size and distance in a rainbow?

On the top picture why is the second rainbows colors reversed? I have observed a rainbows that was huge from behind the horizon that began vertically and the small ones made with a sprayer hose. I ...
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1answer
1k views

If hot air rises, why is it colder at higher altitudes? [duplicate]

I read some of the answers on Does hot air really rise? But then I thought of places like Mount Everest and its summit. Why is it freezing and cold? If hot air rises shouldn't it be like a desert up ...
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9answers
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Why is air not sucked off the Earth?

People said outside earth is a vacuum. But the air does not get sucked from the Earth's surface. Some said it is due to gravity and some said the speed of air molecules are not high enough to escape....
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4answers
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Why does fog float?

I was reading this question: Physical state of Fog And it made me curious about the larger question of how fog exists at all, that is, what causes an aerosol to remain suspended in air? There's an ...
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2answers
1k views

What causes a circle of light to appear opposite the sun when looking from an airplane?

Today I saw a circle of light outside my plane window on the clouds, as if someone was shining a bright, tightly focused flashlight, or perhaps like the halo that sometimes appears around the sun. I ...
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1answer
42 views

Merging solar light signals

In the image below, there is a curve-shaped conduit which transmits solar light. The light is collected at different spots and injected into the conduit at various spots with fiber optics. As per ...
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1answer
394 views

How long would it take Mars to lose its atmosphere if we gave it one?

I've read that one of the reasons Mars doesn't (any longer) have an atmosphere is that it loses more gas to the solar wind than the Earth does, because its core has solidified and it therefore lacks a ...
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1answer
381 views

How molecules gain energy from electromagnetic radiation?

Heat comes from the sun as electromagnetic radiation. It is the principal source of heat on earth. but how this radiation is absorbed by molecules? How they gain kinetic energy from it?
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1answer
238 views

Paradox about the arrival of light from the Sun to our Earth

I recently watched a documentary which said that the sun is 8 light minutes away from the earth. I know that at the rise of the sun we actually see it a few minutes ago, say 2 minutes before it is ...
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1answer
472 views

Ray tracing through a plane where the refractive index is a function of the distance from the origin

Suppose that in a plane parallel to the yz-plane, the index of refraction $n$ is a function of the distance from the origin, $R$, i.e., $n = n(R)$. We know that (e.g., http://aty.sdsu.edu/explain/...
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4answers
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Why don't humans burn up while parachuting, whereas rockets do on reentry?

I guess it has something to do with their being both a high horizontal and a vertical velocity components during re-entry. But again, wouldn that mean there is a better reentry maneuver that the one ...
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0answers
108 views

Physical reason for Helium-hole?

I just found a "Helium-hole" from atmospheric data provided here. I was actually looking for this, and the first search was immediately succesful, a hole was found from; Time: 05.01.2002, 05:00 UTC ...
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2answers
129 views

What will happen if a helicopter flew still? [duplicate]

I discussed this question with some of my friends. I was given many solutions. Please provide me the exact solution for this problem. If a helicopter flew still in the same position for some hours, ...
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1answer
1k views

Optimal laser wavelength for heating air

Lets say I want to heat air with laser,what wavelenght should I chose,ultraviolet,infrared or something in visible spectrum? To clarify,I want the laser beam to lose power and get converted to heat in ...
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1answer
313 views

How much air would be needed to block sunlight?

Was watching a sunset on the sea, I was wondering what would be a lower bound for the thickness of air needed to almost completely obscure the reddish light of the sun, or at least to make it ...
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1answer
129 views

Neutralizing The Earth's Charge

The Earth's surface has a negative surface charge density of $1/10^9\,\mathrm{C/m}^2$. The potential difference of $400\,\mathrm{kV}$ between the top of the atmosphere and the surface results in a ...
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1answer
104 views

Convection and gravity waves?

Quote from Wikipedia article on "stratosphere" "An interesting feature of stratospheric circulation is the quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) in the tropical latitudes, which is driven by gravity ...
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1answer
2k views

Nuclear bomb mushroom cloud with trumpet formation

I have found this specific image here (Loong found out that it is the Soviet Joe 4 test of the 400 kiloton RDS-6 warhead at the Semipalatinsk test site on August 12, 1953): Also an impressive Youtube ...
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2answers
218 views

Brunt-Väisälä frequency

Just to be clear, I am not asking you to solve this problem. This is a homework problem, and all I am asking for is if there was a mistake in the question. The basic setup of the question is that a ...
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2answers
45 views

At what altitude starts the drag of the atmosphere lose force on airplanes?

If I sail on a boat from North to South the boat will be dragged by the oceans which it floats on, and the oceans are dragged by the Earth. Now when you go higher let say 10km an airplane will also be ...
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4answers
9k views

Explain it to me like I'm a physics grad: Greenhouse Effect

What is the mechanism by which increasing $\rm CO_2$ (or other greenhouse gases) ends up increasing the temperature at (near) the surface of the Earth? Mostly what I'm looking for is a big-picture ...
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3answers
7k views

Air Density as a function of Altitude ONLY [closed]

I have read this question and doesn't really achieve what I am trying to do. I am looking for a function of the type r(x)=.... Which returns the density of air at altitude x for Earth conditions ...
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3answers
1k views

Can aurorae/northern lights be used as an energy source?

Their temperature is high, they have high velocity. Can they be used as an source of energy? If not why? If yes how?
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1answer
200 views

Why does the photon travel differently in Earth's Atmosphere?

Take a box T.V. and place it out side and notice the farther away you walk from it the red color fades only leaving the blue color. Why is that? Deep sea plants are commonly found to be red in color ...
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2answers
5k views

Is the Earth gaining or losing mass over time?

The earth presumably loses mass because molecules of the atmosphere disassociate and fly off into space where the solar wind carries them away. On the other hand the earth gains mass because ...
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1answer
122 views

Would this chambered cylinder be possible? [closed]

Could a flexible light weight chambered cylinder (looks similar to bamboo) was filled with helium and stood up to reach outside the atmosphere? Each chamber would have a different psi according to ...
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1answer
625 views

How high will a party balloon filled with helium go?

How high can a party balloon filled with helium go before bursting? If you filled 2 balloons to different amounts and tied them together, would they go higher? I'm asking because I'm considering ...
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0answers
121 views

Can we extract work from atmospheric hydrogen?

In a discussion about future passenger aircraft which aren't powered by fossil fuels, my friend suggested that powered flight may be possible using hydrogen harvested from the atmosphere. I claimed ...