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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Challenges to cabin depressurization control system strategy for a 2.5x Earth atmospheric ascent? [closed]

Summary: We have a game with a fully detailed planet called Vieneo which has a surface pressure of ~2.5 Earth's atmospheres (EATM for short) (2630 mb). During any launch and ascent cabin and payload ...
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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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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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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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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 of a local Martian weather experiment by uncovering the subsurface 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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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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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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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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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 ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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 ...
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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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How did three 1.2 meter spheres and a Xe+ plasma contactor keep the Shuttle “grounded”? What did they look like?

Statement of relevance This answer to Highest DC voltage ever intentionally produced in space? mentions particle beam experiments done from the Space Shuttle while it flew through Earth's atmosphere ...
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What exactly is electron precipitation in Earth's ionosphere and how does it relate to the STEVE phenomenon? [closed]

Source Trying to decide if the unanswered question What was Steve? Is it called something else now? is in need of attention I checked Wikipedia's Steve (atmospheric phenomenon); Occurrence and cause ...
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Phosphine, yes — but where are the organic compounds on Venus?

There has been much speculation in recent news about the finding of phosphine on Venus, and what may be producing it. At the same time, when we look for clues of life elsewhere in the Solar System, we ...
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Why wasn't the phosphine in Venus' atmosphere detected by space probes?

Today, it was announced that phosphine has been found in Venus' atmosphere, rekindling the discussion about the possibility of extraterrestrial life. Venus has been visited by space probes for about ...
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How does it feel to breathe 100% oxygen at low pressure?

Some space suits are designed to provide an atmosphere of 100% oxygen but at a reduced air pressure about 20% that of sea level. Is breathing in such a suit uncomfortable? It seems like having such a ...
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How were the boundaries of LEO and MEO (or all geocentric orbits) determined?

From my understanding: Low Earth Orbit is from 100 - 1240 miles. Medium Earth Orbit is from 1240 - 22246 miles. High Earth Orbit is from 22246 and above. What ...
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What impact will the deorbiting of thousands of satellites have on the atmosphere?

With the creation of mega satellite constellations like Starlink, there are several thousand satellites being launched each year. This means that as these satellites go out of order in a few years, ...
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How to calculate how deep a crater on the Moon has to be to have liquid perfluorodecalin on its floor?

Because the Moon has no atmosphere, one could be created by the sublimation or evaporation of a solid or a liquid respectively, within a deep crater if the gas would not flow over the rim. ...
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How to calculate the pressure at the floor of Ganges Cavus on Mars when it is filled to its edge with perfluorobutane?

Perfluorobutane is an inert, high-density colorless gas and has a high Global Warming Potential value of 4800. At about the same temperature of -1.7 ⁰C, it has a density of 11.2 kg/m3, opposed to 2 kg/...
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Exactly how “Ferrari-like” was GOCE? Was its drag coefficient as low as the car's?

This comment mentions: This relation between drag and mass is taken to a relative (for satellites) extreme in GOCE which I think needed to be close to Earth to accurately sense the changes in gravity,...
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Could one use an adjusted idealized greenhouse model to calculate the local average temperature on Mars?

The Idealized greenhouse model article on Wikipedia gives the following solution for finding the global surface temperature on an idealized planet with an atmosphere: $$T_s = \left[ \frac{S_0(1 - \...
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How sharp are the bits of sand and rock on mars?

Lunar regolith is quite sharp, so abrasive it can cut kevlar. This is because there is no flowing water or substantial atmosphere to erode the material and smoothen it out, so meteorite impacts break ...
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How long could an oxygen/nitrogen atmosphere last on the Moon?

So, if the Moon had an atmosphere composed of oxygen and nitrogen, how long might it last before it all boiled off into space due to the low gravity of the Moon? Or better yet, a krypton or xenon ...
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If someone built a vacuum tunnel through the atmosphere, could you have an orbit with a sea level perigee?

This is something I've been thinking about for a while now. My initial estimates for the structure were based on people's estimates for an O'Neil cylinder, but assuming you can make the structure a ...
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Upper atmospheric studies in 1930/1940

I understand that during 1930/1940s, Baloons were used to gather high altitude data like "pressure" or "temp." I wonder how the instruments "recorded" their data? E.g. ...
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Are there any uncrewed spacecraft that maintain(ed) an atmosphere?

In How do phonesats stay cool? I wonder if phonesats might have had "cabin pressure" to keep the phones from overheating since they are not designed for space. But now I'm just wondering if ...
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How did the first astronauts/kosmonauts in the 1940s/1950s *know* that the sky isn't actually a dome with “little dots” (stars)?

This may sound ridiculous, like a joke question, but I'm for real. I've been thinking a lot about things like this, but I always return to this question: Those early "space explorers" who ...
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What would it take for a balloon to reach an altitude of 65 km (214,000 ft) above the Earth's sea level?

Kind of a follow-up question to Could a helium balloon on Mars and on Triton float at air pressures lower than it could on Earth due to the bodies' low gravities?. As stated in the linked question,...
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Could a helium balloon on Mars and on Triton float at air pressures lower than it could on Earth due to the bodies' low gravities?

The highest altitude ever reached by a balloon above the Earth's surface is about 33 mi (53 km), unmanned above Japan. The 2nd-highest one reached 51.8 km above California. Both reached the lower ...
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Would the national flag planted by astronauts on Mars need an upper horizontal pole like the ones on the Moon?

Due to the lack of an atmosphere on the Moon, the Apollo lunar flags had an upper horizontal pole in order to make them fully hoisted, looking like floating in the wind. Now Mars does have an ...
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Where can I learn to calculate the physics of an ion thruster?

I am trying to build an ion thruster, but I don’t know where to start learning the actual numbers behind one. I know how they work on a basic level, but not much more. Basically I want to be able to ...
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With a 10% increase in Earth's mass, would the Karman line move up or down, and by how much?

This is an exercise to better understand the basic physics and math behind scale height and the Karman line. It was inspired by this answer to Why is FAI considering lowering the Karman Line to 80km? (...
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Kinematic and Dynamic viscosity on Mars

I've been looking at the Mars helicopter (Ingenuity) that will be onboard the Mars 2020 rover and I am having trouble figuring out how they determined the size of the rotor blades. Specifically, I'm ...
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To cool down Venus, from where would be the most economical way to bring the shadowing material into orbit around the planet?

Edit: With the help of comments below, I've changed the question somewhat. Credit: NASA, Image processed from Mariner 10 images by R. Nunes http://www.astrosurf.com/nunes It could seem that ...
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What was Steve? Is it called something else now?

"Steve" was a temporary name for a space phenomenon above the Earth. Since then it's likely much work as been done and a more permanent name chosen. So I'd like to ask what Steve really was/is, and if ...
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What does it take for a craft to perform a flight simulating weightlessness without having to fly a steep parabola/ellipse?

Alright, I'll try to ask a better question on what I mean so that we figure out how one becomes weightless in a craft without having to fly steep parabolae. Other than flying parabolae or nose-down ...
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Would potential astronauts on Titan be in danger of being blown away?

Titan (the largest moon of Saturn) has a thicker and denser atmosphere than the Earth and a surface gravity of less than 1/7 that of the Earth. So potential visitors would be very light and what would ...
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Could a rotorcraft fly on Triton?

Mars 2020 will use a drone to fly within Mars' atmosphere. Although it's thin, Mars also has a lower surface gravity which makes airflight possible on Mars. What about Neptune's moon Triton? Triton ...
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Did a spacecraft ever use an atmosphere to accelerate away from a planet?

If a spacecraft enters flat enough into the Earth's (or another planet's) atmosphere it will "bounce off" the Earth at a higher speed. That method can be used if a spacecraft has not enough fuel to ...
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What effects did the different air pressure and air composition in certain spacecraft have on astronauts?

The Mercury and Gemini spacecraft, and in space the Apollo spacecraft, didn't pressurize their cockpits to 1 atm with Earth-like atmospheric composition; instead, they used pure oxygen at much lower ...

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