Questions tagged [atmosphere]

Questions regarding an envelope of gasses surrounding a celestial body held in place by the body's gravity.

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14 votes
2 answers
5k views

Are there any short-term survivable locations in the solar system, outside of Earth?

Are there any known natural locations (i.e. not counting ISS) in our solar system (outside of Earth) where a human being in street clothes (i.e. without a spacesuit or other specialized equipment) ...
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How far could we see (horizontally), floating inside the acid clouds of Venus at 56 km and at 51 km height above the surface?

Screenshot of Fig. 4 in the article The microphysics of the clouds of Venus: Results of the Pioneer Venus Particle Size Spectrometer Experiment From the Wikipedia section about the troposphere of ...
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Regarding planets capturing gases from space with their gravitational pull;

We know most (or all) planets suffer atmospheric escape. Now, can planets gain atmosphere from drawing in gases drifting in space? Is there a formula for that? Is there a cutoff point between gravity, ...
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How to model the kinematics of gases expelled from comets and planetary atmospheres? [closed]

Once the ices of comets sublimate, where do they move to, and with which equations do you describe their motion in the interplanetary medium? Similarly, where do the gases that are stripped from the ...
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How well would a supersonic aircraft perform in the Martian atmosphere?

I started getting curious about this question during my Flight Test Engineering class. My professor was talking about a part of the International Standard Atmosphere that is a similar pressure to that ...
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1 answer
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Fjeldbo, Kliore, & Eshleman 1971 Fig. 22 planetary atmosphere index of refraction increasing with altitude; physics insight or convenient abstraction?

this answer to Is it possible for a spacecraft to communicate with Earth when a planet is in the way? suggesting that atmospheric refraction could be used to get at least some kind of signal around a ...
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14 votes
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Would a sufficiently deep cavern on Mars provide habitable temperature and atmospheric pressure? Was Dick Tracy wrong?

Would a sufficiently deep cavern on Mars provide habitable temperature and atmospheric pressure? Dick Tracy discovered minimally dressed Moon People living comfortably outdoors on the Moon. Their Far ...
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What's the lowest and the highest ever recorded atmospheric pressure by a Mars lander?

What is the lowest and what's the highest ever recorded air pressure on Mars by an (either roving or stationary) Mars landing probe? As per the answer in this question of mine, it seems the highest ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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Could and should not the search for the location(s) of the Martian methane spikes become the main scientific objective for the Curiosity rover?

In Nature Geoscience's article Independent confirmation of a methane spike on Mars and a source region east of Gale Crater is announced that the reported methane spike on sol 305 by the Tunable Laser ...
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How to estimate total CO2 emission per year due to rocket manufacture?

I'm working on a study on greenhouse gas emissions related to rockets. While I have the post-launch (atmospheric) emissions, I need data for emissions related to production. For example, according to ...
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1 answer
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Why is there a black donut in Perseverance's SkyCam? Is it always used to block the Sun? (sky cameras on Earth don't) How does it work?

At mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/multimedia/raw-images I found Mars Perseverance Sol 258: SkyCam Camera which shows a sky camera (180° FOV fisheye view of the sky) image. I've included it below along with ...
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5 votes
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Why wasn't the high-speed rotation regime for Ingenuity tested on Earth?

On the NASA website, it says that the propeller on Ingenuity will need to spin faster than what has been done before during all of the previous tests to accommodate for the rarefied atmosphere during ...
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How does SuperCam measure the air?

The NASA website mentions that the SuperCam onboard Perseverance can measure the air. How does it do this? Does it use LIBS? Is the SuperCam more apt at doing these measures than a regular camera?
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What is the planned Nuwa city atmosphere?

Nuwa is a proposal for a large-scale permanent Martian settlement. What is the planned atmospheric composition of Nuwa city's air? Will it be 15psi Oxygen/nitrogen, and trace gases or low partial ...
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Who's buried in Grant's Tomb? Size of 122 cm conductive spheres charge collection in the Shuttle's Space Experiments with Particle Accelerators?

Why were the three 122-cm diameter conductive spheres for charge collection in the Shuttle's Space Experiments with Particle Accelerators black? links to How did three 1.2 meter spheres and a Xe+ ...
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Why were the three 122-cm diameter conductive spheres for charge collection in the Shuttle's Space Experiments with Particle Accelerators black?

From this answer to How did three 1.2 meter spheres and a Xe+ plasma contactor keep the Shuttle “grounded”? What did they look like?: STS-45 view of payload bay with this description (emphasis my own)...
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6 votes
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Is there an atmospheric pressure model for Mars that takes different temperatures and seasons into account?

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech. Above are the pressure data from Curiosity's REMS sensor for the first 200 sols at Gale crater. At about sol 170 Mars was at perihelion and a month later it was southern ...
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Why does Unity look transparent?

The BBC's Virgin Galactic: Sir Richard Branson rockets to the edge of space includes the image below. Much of the Unity spacecraft appears (almost) transparent in this image; you can see the blue sky ...
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1 answer
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Why not use alternative/low-pressure atmospheres in fairings during launch?

For example: using a reduced pressure helium atmosphere. Most fairings are already cleanroom environments. Benefits I can see: Eliminate need for acoustic tiles as low pressure and/or light gasses (...
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Self-sustainable Hermetically Sealed System: Humans & Plants

Somewhat related to How many plants would be needed to produce oxygen enough for 20 humans? Suppose a number of humans are closed in a large hermetically sealed room on Earth with a glass (or other ...
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1 answer
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From what altitude will they cut Dragonfly helicopter loose on Titan and make it land itself, and what are the main factors determining this altitude?

Titan's surface pressure is about 1.5 bar and because the surface gravity is low pressure falls off much more slowly with altitude than it does on Earth. From Wikipedia's Atmosphere of Titan; vertical ...
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In simple terms, how does the way space suits manage breathable gas differ from how scuba gear does it?

I say "breathable gas" because what's in the tank can be a variety of mixtures and I don't know a single word for gas mixture you can safely breathe. less scientific or clinical sounding ...
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On what calculations is Robert Zubrin's assertion that Mars could be warmed by 10 ⁰ C in 50 years with fluorocarbon gases based?

In this answer to the question "What would the full hypothetical Mars terraforming roadmap look like ?" there's a link to the article "Zubrin on Terraforming Mars" in Universe ...
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Is the charge on Martian dust positive or negative?

Martian dust tends to cling to surfaces such as solar panels due to electrostatic charge. Martian dust is extremely small and fine-grained. Atmospheric dust on Mars is approximately three microns in ...
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How would Ingenuity handle Martian Storm and dust devils?

Martian storms are quite common and can sometimes encompass most of the planet. Though the density of the Martian air is low, the speeds are pretty high (some have observed 26 m/s). How would the ...
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What could Perseverance listening to Ingenuity reveal?

On 2021 May 7, the science lead for Perseverance's SuperCam Mars microphone said about that microphone's recording of a flight of the Ingenuity helicopter: We had carried out tests and simulations ...
4 votes
3 answers
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How long would astronauts' footprints on Mars persist?

The Apollo astronauts' footsteps can remain theoretically forever on the Moon as it has no atmosphere. Mars does have an atmosphere but a very thin one. Its pressure ranges from 72 Pa (0.0104 psi) on ...
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Could the phosphorus in phosphine in the Venus atmosphere probably produced by cosmic ray spallation of sulfur? [closed]

Reading the following questions and their answers: Why wasn't the phosphine in Venus' atmosphere detected by space probes? Phosphine, yes -- but where are the organic compounds on Venus? the ...
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2 answers
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How do we know what the atmospheric pressure on Mars is?

The martian atmosphere is 6 mbar. How do we know this? Which probe(s) had a barometer on board to measure this?
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What is the density of the earth's atmosphere at an altitude of four hundred kilometers?

What is the density of the earth's atmosphere at an altitude of four hundred kilometers? I want to use it to calculate the drag on something in orbit near the ISS. The Jacchia Reference Atmosphere is ...
2 votes
1 answer
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What is the increase in drag by adding a space station module?

Imagine a cylindrical space station module, orbiting at an arbitrary height - the same as the ISS say. Another identity cylindrical module docks on the end. Real station cross section hasn't changed -...
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What instruments and techniques measured Mars' atmospheric D/H ratio which suggests (all of) it's water didn't evaporate after all?

The Time article Mars Has Much More Water Than Previously Known—But There's a Catch says: The greater weight of deuterium causes it to behave differently in the Martian atmosphere. While free ...
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3 votes
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How many kilograms of nickel particles will be dispersed in Earth's atmosphere by dumping old ISS batteries overboard?

Weighing 2.9 tons... this heap of old batteries is now the heaviest single piece of garbage to be jettisoned from the International Space Station. begins Gizmodo's ISS Ditches 2.9-Ton Pallet of ...
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1 answer
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How many planets have had their limbs scanned with radio signals?

This answer to When did planetary scientists realize Venus' surface pressure was almost 100x that on Earth? How did they find out? describes one example of scanning the limb of a planet using ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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During reentry, does the flux stay laminar? Should become turbulent the capsule could not mantain attitude

This a thing that, instinctively, I find it hard to grasp. The capsules are designed with a centre of gravity slightly to the direction of the thermal shield, this assures the right attitude, but how ...
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Scientific value and feasibility of a local Martian weather experiment by uncovering the near surface ice in Nier crater?

From NASA's Treasure Map for Water Ice on Mars: "You wouldn't need a backhoe to dig up this ice. You could use a shovel," said the paper's lead author, Sylvain Piqueux of NASA's Jet ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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What local pressure changes would a starship launch on Mars cause?

When Starship launches from Mars it will burn thousands of tonnes of fuel in seconds. This will cause a local increase in pressure, humidity (it might exist!) and temperature. Do we have any idea how ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Would the >100 km "knee" in Earth's atmosphere still be where MFP exceeded scale height if it were pure Ne or Ar?

There is currently one answer to How many solar system bodies have "knees" in their atmospheres? that points out that somewhere above roughly 100 km turbulent mixing drops off (thus the name ...
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1 answer
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How many solar system bodies have "knees" in their atmospheres?

Discussion lead to citing Why does Earth's atmospheric density have a big "knee" around 100 km? Is there a good analytical approximation? who's answer is "monatomic oxygen". ...
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Why did it take so long to notice that the ozone layer had holes in it? Which satellite provided the data?

Wikipedia says: The discovery of the annual depletion of ozone above the Antarctic was first announced by Joe Farman, Brian Gardiner and Jonathan Shanklin, in a paper which appeared in Nature on May ...
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Does upper atmosphere rotate with earth?

Basic question that I should know the answer to but sadly don't. The lower atmosphere must rotate with the earth because of friction---at least the very bottom of it. But what about 30 miles up? There ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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How do you balance speed and exposure time when trying to reduce heating? [duplicate]

I'm trying to understand how you choose your acceleration/deceleration and trajectory during launch and reentry to minimize aerodynamic heating.* Ignoring efficiency in terms of delta-v (best leave ...
1 vote
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g-forces entering and leaving atmospheres, how would they vary from one body to another?

I was wondering how launching from and returning into atmospheres of other bodies such as Mars, Venus, Titan, etc. would differ from Earth's. Specifically, I am wondering how many g's would be ...
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1 answer
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Orbit lifetime of a Nano-Satellite in 350 Km Orbit

I was trying to write a very simple program to calculate orbit life time of a nano-satellite. I got the atmosphere density as function of altitude from this site. ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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How much energy from the Sun could we get if we use Jupiter or the Earth as an atmospheric lens?

How much energy (watts) from sunlight could arrive to the focal point if we use Jupiter or the Earth as an atmospheric lens by using refraction? How far the focal point would have to be placed for ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Did the Space Shuttle crew have to worry about monatomic oxygen?

Comments below this answer tell us that the Space Shuttle always remained in Earth's atmosphere. When it visited the Hubble Space Telescope or the ISS or Mir it was still in the thermosphere and ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Did the Space Shuttle crew have to worry about the ionosphere? What relevant training or specific briefings did they receive?

Comments below this answer tell us that the Space Shuttle always remained in Earth's atmosphere. When it visited the Hubble Space Telescope or the ISS or Mir it was still in the thermosphere and ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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What is the Opaque Component of Venus' Atmosphere

My understanding is that carbon dioxide makes up the majority of the Venusian atmosphere, and carbon dioxide is transparent. Even liquid CO2 is transparent! Yet despite this Venus is enveloped in a ...
3 votes
1 answer
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Have any Soviet-era astronauts reported seeing Earth's aurora or related luminescent atmospheric effects?

Earth's aurora and related luminescent atmospheric effects are generally quite dim, and mostly but not always located in the general area of Earth's magnetic poles. That means to be seen easily by eye ...
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Have any Apollo (or earlier) astronauts reported seeing Earth's aurora or related luminescent atmospheric effects?

Earth's aurora and related luminescent atmospheric effects are generally quite dim, and mostly but not always located in the general area of Earth's magnetic poles. That means to be seen easily by eye ...
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