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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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 was the record for the highest man-made flight before Gagarin's spaceflight? [migrated]

My recent conversation with uhoh reminded me of something which stays kind of unmentioned in history of air and space flight, namely the altitude record prior to Gagarin's Vostok 1 mission. I wonder ...
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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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Would a spacecraft landing on Io need a heat shield?

Io is Jupiter's only moon with a considerable atmosphere. Its atmosphere is extremely thin (up to 40 nbar) which obviously is too thin to use a parachute. However a spacecraft would maybe need a heat ...
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How bright is twilight on Mars compared to Earth?

The surprising answer to How much more quickly does night come on Mars compared to Earth? Will it be easier to see Mercury there? is "up to two hours(!)" "...indicating that Martian dust extends very ...
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Any additional information required for colonising these rocky solar system bodies?

I am doing some research into the nearby rocky bodies Mars, Venus and the Moon with reference to human colonisation. Are there any specific pieces of information that would be useful to know about ...
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How Is the Atmosphere of a Space Settlement Consisting of Nitrogen and Oxygen Maintained?

It is said that NASA used 100-percent-Oxygen artificial atmosphere in their spacecrafts prior to Apollo 1. I do not understand how NASA planned to maintain this atmosphere, as even the human ...
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Are Mars' atmospheric CO₂, O₂ and CO in equilibrium? Are sunlight or chemical reactions involved?

According to the NASA JPL video linked below the top five gases comprising the martian atmosphere include CO₂, O₂ and CO. Do the proportions reflect some chemical equilibrium? Are sunlight or chemical ...
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How does composition change if you extend an Earthlike atmosphere 50km below sea level? [closed]

I'm working to design a fictional planet inspired by Venus (let's call it Cael). At an altitude of 50 km, Cael's atmosphere is essentially identical to Earth's atmosphere at sea level, and parallels ...
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What is the atmospheric composition of Venus at the 34 mile (50 km) altitude of the proposed HAVOC program?

Various people over the past 60ish years have suggested floating habitats in the high-altitude Venusian atmosphere, as the pressure, gravity, and temperature are comparable to Earth. The premise is ...
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What would be the challenges for a 50 km long tether to the surface of Venus to get recurrent surface samples there?

Basalt fiber would be an excellent material for a tether in the atmosphere of Venus because it could withstand both the acidity and the high temperature near the surface there. From this answer ...
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When a planet loses atmosphere, where does it go?

Hydrogen and helium are quite rare in Earth's atmosphere, despite being the most abundant elements in the universe. Planets such as Mars have even lost almost all their atmosphere. The usual ...
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What does “clumps and streams” of hydrogen leaving Mars' atmosphere really mean? Are there images of them?

This excellent answer to Just how huge is Mars' cloud of hydrogen? links to the 14 October 2014 Nature News item "Hydrogen Cloud Blows Off Mars", by Alexandra Witze, https://www.nature.com/news/...
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Is it harder to enter an atmosphere perpendicular or at an angle

I've heard that because Earth's atmosphere is so thick that some spacecraft can 'bounce' off the atmosphere if they don't enter at the correct angle. This leads me to believe that shallower angles ...
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Comparison of Titan to Europa

Why does Titan have an atmosphere denser than that of the Earth? And why does Europa not have even a fraction of Titans atmosphere given that it is not that small as compared to Titan?
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Is the retrograde (clockwise) rotation rate of Venus speeding up or slowing down?

In the update of the question "Would it be possible to "ride the wave" on Venus ?" there are links to articles in Science and in Science News that report that the atmosphere of Venus, hitting the ...
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Is it possible to force atmosphere onto a non atmospheric planet?

If you had some way of injecting large masses of gas into a small planets gravitational field, would it form an atmosphere? You would have to pump it at an extreme rate but would it still work if the ...
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Could not silica aerogel dramatically increase the atmospheric pressure on Mars?

In the NASA article Want to Colonize Mars ? Aerogel Could Help a study about the potential of aerogel as a building material on Mars is reviewed. In an experiment 2-3 centimeters of silica aerogel ...
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What will happen to gas released from the Moon's Surface?

When humans return to the surface of the Moon, there could be many circumstances under which gas is released out, from the pressurized components. Some of the cases are as follows: Gas released from ...
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How to derive wind variation equation in the planetary rotating atmosphere

In this picture is the equation of wind variation on rotating earth atmosphere. Does anyone know how to get this equation ? what is the basic idea ? Thank you
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How were Mars' zero elevation datum defined? What are their shapes?

Discussions on Boiling ponds and pools on Mars? led me to Wikipedia's Mars; Geography and naming of surface features which says: Because Mars has no oceans and hence no "sea level", a zero-...
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Would snow fall on the surface of Mars because of uncovering the ice deposit in Utopia Planitia?

In 2016 a large ice deposit was found within the Utopia Planitia region on Mars by the SHARAD instrument on board of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The thickness of the deposit ranges from about 80 ...
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what happens to particles that escape the atmosphere on planets in the solar system?

What happens to particles that escape the atmosphere of planets? (not just earth). Do they eventually form a uniform distribution of particles overtime? Do they inevitably to fall into the ...
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Alternatives to an ozone layer

Our home planet earth has low concentration of ozone in its atmosphere, protecting it from UV radiation, could Exoplanets share the same method but have a different gas in the atmosphere which has a ...
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Should there not be a sulfuric acid free zone in the atmosphere above the equator of Venus?

The circulation in the troposphere of Venus follows an almost purely zonal flow, with windspeeds of about 100 m/sec at 60-70 km altitude, which corresponds to the upper cloud deck. These winds quickly ...
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Could H₂S₂O₈ (peroxydisulfuric acid), made in the clouds of Venus, be used for making a propellant?

The salts of the peroxydisulfate ion, S$_2$O$_8$$^2$$^-$, are strong oxidants like the perchlorates that are used in propellants for rockets. In this answer on Chemistry stackexchange is a link to a ...
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Could the sulfuric acid in the atmosphere of Venus be heated enough by concentrated sunlight to create water and oxygen?

The atmospheric pressure and temperature at about 50 to 60 km above the surface of Venus is nearly the same as that of the Earth, making its upper atmosphere the most Earth-like area in the Solar ...
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What factors determine the altitude at which rocket exhaust plumes start blooming hugely?

The images below are from a much larger set of photos in Spaceflight Now's August 8, 2019 article Photos: Atlas 5 paints the sky with spectacular sunrise launch. They show several effects related to ...
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Are rockets faster than airplanes?

Rockets are fast. Faster than anything else somebody could fly with - at least intuitively to me. But - airplanes are fast too. A rocket typically flies vertically, an airplane mostly horizontally. ...
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What pushes back on rockets? [closed]

Discussion: I have removed the parts of the question regarding landing and the conic nozzle. Adding in those issues makes the question too broad. No, it makes the question meaningful. It's an ...
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How long can a high altitude balloon fly before a meteor hits it?

The balloon has a lighter than air gas in it. It flies at 30 km above sea level. It is spherical, with a radius not exceeding five hundred meters. How long can it fly before a meteor pokes a hole in ...
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Is the night sky on Earth different from the night sky on the moon or Mars?

If colonists or space-tourists spend time on the Moon or on Mars long enough to have a chance to take a good look at the nighttime sky, will they be able to see stars and the Milky Way? Will they ...
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What was the exact nature of the observations of “solar flare activity” that delayed the launch of Vostok 5?

The interesting story of Vostok 5 recounted in Encyclopedia Astronautica's Vostok 5 (linked in comments below this answer) includes the following passage: Vostok 5 was originally planned to go for ...
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Shirtsleeves environment in Martian caves [duplicate]

Are there currently any places on Mars (that we know of) that are deep enough and warm enough that a human could survive with only an oxygen mask? Are there any caves, trenches, or valleys deep enough ...
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How do flags behave on the Moon?

I have seen many theories and question/answers on this site touching upon this subject but no focused question. So I would like to ask this as a two part question. Is what we saw in the Lunar ...
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Sulphur Hexafluoride atmosphere for Ceres?

So, I have read that the escape velocity of Ceres is 514 m/s, and orbital velocity(for a low orbit) is 360 m/s... Now, the RMS(Root Mean Square) velocity of Sulphur Hexafluoride at 72 $^o$F (23 $^o$C,...
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What materials are naturally released into space from earth?

I am wondering what kinds of materials that are released by Earth into space due to natural processes. If possible, what are their approximate rates in kg per day or year?
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How fast do optical surfaces get dirty or damaged in space?

These answers: (1, 2) to Do things get dirty in space? mention the Hubble Space Telescope but if I understand correctly refer to the outside of the telescope rather than its optical surfaces. Answers ...
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Why is the Aeolus space laser losing power so quickly?

The BBC News article Aeolus: Wind-mapping space laser is losing power says that Europe's Aeolus satellite was launched last year to gather data to improve weather forecasts, and its observations ...
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Why does the Earth's atmosphere as seen from space have the colors that it does?

Here is a photo of Comet Lovejoy taken from orbit. https://spaceflight.nasa.gov/gallery/images/station/crew-30/html/iss030e015472.html The atmosphere has 3 bands. The lowest is deep blue and so I ...
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How can a hefty sand storm happen in a thin atmosphere like Martian?

As perceived, sand storms on Mars are quite hefty. But how is that possible in such a thin atmosphere like Martian?
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How will Mars terraforming missions really work, how do pioneers like SpaceX plan on conquering Mars? [duplicate]

We know Mars is now dead in the water (or space), it is now merely an oversized rock hurtling through space, with a bit of atmosphere. I was reading up on terraforming the planet, and learned that ...
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How would a body be stored in a dark hole in the moon?

How well would the human body stay preserved if it was frozen while pressurized and vacuum sealed before being placed in a crater on the Moon? Would the temperature be more reliably stable on the moon ...
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Are there “Space Jellyfish” in Florida? Would they be possible?

The Wikipedia article Space Jellyfish shows the image below with the caption: A California space jellyfish from 22 December 2017 I think that when other Q&A here have shown similar space ...
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Could escape velocity be achieved in the atmosphere?

When rockets launch for orbit they travel up and the air thins respectively to the speed increasing. How fast can a rocket for travel at sea level before it would fail or the elevation would have to ...
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Why not increase contact surface when reentering the atmosphere?

If a craft were to increase the surface area where contact is made with air during reentry, I imagine the heat quantity per area unit would decrease, making the use of (heavy) heat shields less of a ...
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How does the sunlight affect the height of the atmosphere?

I was reading this question about how high a Mars balloon could go in the mars atmosphere. How much would the sunlight affect how high the atmosphere reaches? Is the atmosphere on Earth elongated on ...
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Can something float on top of the atmosphere? [duplicate]

So this is more of a thought experiment similar to the idea of a space elevator, but bear with me... Can we put something that "floats" on top of the atmosphere? A few ideas A pressure regulating ...
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How is atmospheric temperature measured from a satellite?

How does an Earth observing satellite measure the temperature of the atmosphere? Can they measure temperature at multiple altitudes, or measure the temperature of clouds?
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Is the Standard Model of Atmosphere the same as NRLMSISE-00?

I keep reading about the standard atmosphere being a static model and related to the 1976 US standard model. The NRLMSISE seems like an atmospheric model, but I'm unsure if its an extension of the ...

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