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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Could H$_2$S$_2$O$_8$ (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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Where can I find data for Atmospheric density vs. altitude?

I'm looking for information on atmospheric density in Earth orbit. All the atmospheric density tables and graphs I've found go no higher than 100 km. Definitions like the US Standard Atmosphere don't ...
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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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Is really almost all the water in the atmosphere of Venus above the clouds?

In this question about the amount of sulfuric acid in the atmosphere of Venus it is calculated that the amount of water in it's atmosphere is $9.6 \times 10^{15} \text{ kg }$ H$_2$O. In one of the ...
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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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All Optical Global Network - how does the space-to-ground link avoid clouds?

I just saw the news item in Lightwave's online website: Laser Light to leverage free-space optics in space for Optical Satellite as a Service. All Optical Hybrid Global Network (or HALO, as laser ...
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How much soil can be supported by an inflatable habitat on Mars?

What weight of Martian soil can be supported by the top of an inflatable habitat pressurized at Earth's atmosphere? While habitat's shape is a huge factor, this has 20 meter modules, semi-cylindrical ...
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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]

Revised question: Please address all answers and votes to this revised version of the question. A rocket taking off on a launch pad sends a dense plume that pushes on the launch pad and is being ...
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182 views

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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Where do ice giants contain ice?

There is a class of planets called ice giants. Let's talk about Neptune. The top layer is atmosphere, consisting of hydrogen and helium. The amount of these gases is about 10% but they produce high ...
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Does Juno's UVS have any chance to spot Europa plumes?

JIRAM has recently been proven to be useful to monitor the volcanic activity on Io, from a considerable distance. Europa Clipper will have an ultraviolet spectrograph which be pretty much a copy of ...
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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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How does methane waste produced by the ISS interact with our Atmosphere?

The ISS uses a Sabatier reactor to recover oxygen from carbon dioxide. This has an output product of methane. I would imagine that most methane that enters our atmosphere at ground level only reaches ...
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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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120 views

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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Why not simulate certain regions of the atmosphere of Venus?

Many people would like to know if any form of life could survive anywhere in the atmosphere of Venus. Researchers have simulated conditions on Mars and found that after a month some cyanobacteria ...
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595 views

Heavy gas artificial atmosphere on Ceres?

Is there any heavy enough gas that could be used to make an artificial atmosphere around Ceres without it escaping into space?
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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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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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Is there likely to be life in Venus's upper atmosphere?

From what I understand, Venus's upper atmosphere is much more habitable than its surface, with a temperature and pressure that humans could tolerate. However, lack of oxygen and the presence of ...
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Could metal sulfates stay in the sulfuric acid layer of Venus?

For cyanobacteria metal ions like K+, Mg+ and other essential nutrients like phosphorus are vital for growing and to expand. So they could only thrive in the clouds of Venus if at least metal ions ...
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Do we have instruments that can measure the depth of storms like the Great Red Spot on Jupiter and the Great Dark Spot on Neptune?

I understand if technology isn't quite there yet. If it isn't, is there any research being developed along these lines? I'm trying to wrap my head around the composition of these planets, and the ...
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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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Does “What happens beyond Kármán, stay beyond Kármán”?

The title refers to the promotional slogan "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas." The question How much CO2 would city-to-city rocket flight produce compared to airliners? seems to be focused on ...
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997 views

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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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 does Mars have a Bow Shock and proton aurora? What is a hydrogen corona?

I just saw the NASA video Mars Proton Aurora below and I'm confused, (which by itself is unremarkable). Without a planetary magnetic field, what force produces a bow shock in the solar wind at Mars, ...
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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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Any other advantages to passive atmospheric reentry besides reaction mass economy?

From Vostok 1 to date, atmospheric reentry has been essentially passive. Passive here means that retrorockets are used to de-orbit, and then aerobraking is provided by the atmosphere. In contrast, ...
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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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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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Why does Earth's atmospheric density have a big “knee” around 100 km? Is there a good analytical approximation?

I've used a quick very rough approximation of the drop of atmospheric density with altitude in this answer and in this answer by using a single exponential and scale height parameter, but that's not ...
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Could we breathe an atmosphere that is not nitrogen based?

As I understand it, the important part of Earth's atmosphere that we breathe is the oxygen. However, Earth's air is only about 21% oxygen with the rest made up of about 78% nitrogen and 1% other gases,...
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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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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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How does InSight measure wind speed?

According to this answer the weather at the InSight lander can now be seen online at https://mars.nasa.gov/insight/weather/ This includes the wind speed and I believe the direction (if that's what ...
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Could Mars ocean still be there?

So it’s pretty much agreed that Mars was once a wet planet, and most of the water was lost to space. However, I am unable to see why that is necessarily the case primarily for the same reason that ...
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Does exploration of Venus' atmosphere now require any planetary protection protocols?

This answer quotes Marc Rayman's August 21, 2018 Dawn Journal entry: Not all solar system bodies need such protection. The Moon, Mercury and Venus, for example, have not been of interest for ...
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Effect of atmospheric drag on rocket launches and benefits of high altitude launch sites

What is the approximate influence of atmospheric drag on the cost of rocket launches? Is it beneficial to have launch sites located at higher altitudes? Cape Canaveral is at sea level, but I've ...
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What are InSight's barometric and seismic digitization rates and frequency responses when it “listens to the wind”?

News of the "sound of the wind" on Mars is all over the internet today. If you read the fine print, it's really better described as rapid cadence barometric pressure measurements then sped up by a ...
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Rainbow Space Probe?

Can a probe be sent out to shine a white laser through the atmosphere of a planet to measure a rainbow spectrum to determine composition, temperature, density etc.? Water drops refracts about at a ...
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118 views

How small must an asteroid be to burn entirely in the martian atmosphere?

The Martian atmosphere is thinner and the magnetic field isn't present. I wonder how many asteroids fall and if at least the small ones can burn in the atmosphere before reaching the soil. Thanks in ...
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Will SpaceX vehicles orbit Mars before they enter the atmosphere?

When SpaceX starts sending vehicles to Mars, how will they handle landing on Mars? Will the Starship (Upper Stage, transit vehicle) slow down enough to capture into orbit of Mars before entering the ...
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4k views

Why do some meteors explode in air?

I was reading about the Tunguska and Chelyabinsk meteors and I wonder what would cause a meteor to explode in the air, instead of hitting the surface?