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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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 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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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]

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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1answer
185 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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3answers
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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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1answer
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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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1answer
193 views

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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1answer
183 views

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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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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381 views

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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121 views

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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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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1answer
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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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1answer
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Heat Shielding Material for Reusable Craft

I'm a bit new to all this and have a quick question about heat shielding. My research tells me that for reusable craft (i.e. Space Shuttles) they used to use a plastic-based shields that would burn ...
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Does a credible Kármán plane reach escape velocity within 1 minute or does it follow the curvature of the Earth? [duplicate]

Edit: This question is no duplicate because here the dropping of the atmospheric density together with the horizontal line, play an important role. Furthermore none of the answers and question ...
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Is there any reason other than lack of oxygen Tardigrades can't survive Mars?

If Cyanobacteria or Lichens can survive on Mars could other small organisms like the Tardigrade then survive & flourish among them? Due to the thicker atmosphere to be found the bottom of the ...
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Would a liquid propellant fire in Mars' atmosphere cause charring?

If a ship carrying liquid propellant crashed on the surface of Mars, rupturing all tanks, I assume the propellant could ignite. If the propellant did ignite might it leave indications of charring on ...
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1answer
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How would humans with appropriate equipment travel the surface of Saturn's moon Titan on foot?

Taking into account the physical characteristics of Titan (e.g. surface gravity, atmospheric pressure), what would be the most efficient method of motion for an astronaut to travel the surface of ...
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1answer
145 views

What would happen if air hitting heatshield was ignited?

During Earth's atmospheric entry of an Apollo-like capsule, what would happen if oxygen hitting heatshield was mixed with fuel injected through heatshield, and ignited? Edit & addendum : During ...
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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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Is there any reason Cyanobacteria or Lichens can't survive on Mars?

According to this article "Mars atmosphere is supersaturated with water" & according to answers to this physics stack exchange question conditions do exist on the surface of Mars where fluid water ...
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How deep a valley or trench would be needed on Mars to provide the same atmospheric pressure as 6 km above sea level on Earth?

Atmospheric pressure increases the deeper you go & the highest growing plants on Earth have been found at a height of 6 km so how deep a trench would we need on Mars to provide similar air ...
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Why are there no methane detectors with “the mole” of the Insight lander?

A possible geophysical source of methane on Mars could be ancient methane trapped in clathrate hydrates in the subsurface that may be released occasionally. In a not secured (!) article of ESA about ...
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How could a transmission be relayed wirelessly from the bottom of Europa ocean to Earth?

Answers to Do you need a “wire” on a Europa submarine to phone home? are generally yes, but a wire is cumbersome and dramatically limits range, If a rover was sent to the bottom of Europa's Ocean ...
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How to waterproof a rover?

What changes would be needed to a late model rover to enable it to function under water? What would prevent a rover from functioning under water as is? related: https://astronomy.stackexchange.com/...
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Can carbon dioxide be distilled from a Helium/Oxygen atmosphere by using natural refrigeration?

A simple air compressor compress carbon dioxide/water saturated helium/oxygen air in a tank to liquefy water from the air by pressure. Abstract the water, then refrigerate the carbon dioxide/helium/...
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How does the color of the atmosphere differ on Mars? Does the sky during sunset on Mars look just like midday?

Higher frequency light wavelengths (blue) absorb more in our atmosphere. At sunset, light must travel farther to reach the observer, so more blue light is scattered and the sun/sky appears orange and ...
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Are there calculations regarding the Kármán line in the Theodore von Kármán collection?

According to this article, page 673: The "von Kármán line" appears to be what mathematicians refer to as a "folk theorem" , arising out of a conference discussion but never formally published by ...
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Would the atmosphere of Mars become less dusty if the ice deposit in Utopia Planitia could be uncovered?

In 2016 a large ice deposit has been 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 80 ...
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What did Karman's original “Karman line” calculations look like?

Looking for the atmospheric parameters (density for example) and vehicle parameters (CL for example) as well as formulae that were used in the original calculation. Primary sources strongly preferred,...
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How much CO₂ could the wind through a tunnel within the deposit near the south pole of Mars sublimate?

Within the CO₂ deposit near the south pole of Mars, according to this article 3 subunits have been found with one having the top CO₂ layer of about 300 meters thick covered by a water ice layer with a ...