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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160 views

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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When does an aerobraking space craft create a sonic boom?

There are a lot of variables with the speed of sound, a sonic boom is created when all of those variables meet. the speed of sound, a critical speed known as Mach 1, and is approximately 1,225 km/h ...
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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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How much sunlight gets to the surface of Titan? What would astronauts see?

Saturn being at 10 A.U. means sunlight on Titan's cloud tops is about 1/100 that on Earth's. That's 4000 times the illumination of Earth's moon. Titan's atmosphere is described as opaque smog. 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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Venus vs Mars for colonization

Why is Mars getting so much attention vs Venus, which to me seems like a much more attractive option, in regards to habitability. I've read that the upper atmosphere of Venus has the most Earth-like ...
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1answer
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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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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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Does a planet need an ozone layer to maintain an atmosphere?

Is it possible to build an atmosphere on Mars without an ozone layer? What would trap the gas? Also what is an ozone layer made of?
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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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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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1answer
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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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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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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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1answer
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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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2answers
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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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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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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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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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1answer
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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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What was the ambient air density was there when/were Starman/Roadster first started playing Bowie's “Life on Mars”

When the Falcon Heavy test flight 2nd stage fairing opened at about 115 km, David Bowie started singing "Life on Mars". Okay, the Tesla Roadster's stereo started playing "Life on Mars", or at least ...
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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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1answer
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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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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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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 not bring life to Venus along with the next exploring mission?

Why not bring cyanobacteria and fertilizer to the atmosphere of Venus to improve conditions for life there by producing oxygen ? Planetary protection could be a reason. According to Wikipedia: ...
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1answer
289 views

Convective heat transfer on rocket during ascent

I'm looking for a way to (very) roughly estimate the convective heat transfer onto a rocket hull during atmospheric ascent (ideally through different planetary atmospheres). While I'm comfortable with ...
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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 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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1answer
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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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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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1answer
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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 is the most economical way to vaporize the CO₂ deposit near the south pole of Mars?

In April 2011 NASA announced that the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter had found a large, buried deposit of frozen carbon dioxide at the planet's south pole. It has a volume of about 12,000 cubic ...
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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 much efficiency is lost from a fixed De Laval nozzle when modified for atmospheric use?

Fixed nozzles designed for vacuum are larger/broader than those designed for atmospheric or combined air/space use, which have less flanged nozzles due to the drag a larger flange would incur in the ...
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Boiling ponds and pools on Mars?

In the related questions Can you take a bath on Mars? & How would swimming on Mars feel, given the lower gravity? we learn that bathing and swimming on Mars is much like it is on Earth. Some ...
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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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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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Could the Moon keep an atmosphere?

When we think of terraforming a body in our galaxy Mars gets lots of consideration as the closest potential body. But what about the Moon? It is currently beyond our ability to add an atmosphere ...
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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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