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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What exoplanet atmospheres might support life beside our nitrogen and oxygen atmosphere? [closed]

What exoplanet atmospheres might support life beside our nitrogen and oxygen atmosphere? Related question: Could an exoplanet atmosphere be very similar to our own, but contain some component toxic ...
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How could a hot lander enter Titan's atmosphere without setting its hydrocarbons ablaze?

Whenever a lander enters an atmosphere, it generates a lot of friction and that heats up the heat shield. On Earth we have seen videos of spacecraft with red-hot shields. On Saturn's moon Titan, ...
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First sounding rocket to reach the mesosphere?

The mesosphere (the part of the atmosphere above the stratosphere where temperatures increase with altitude) is generally above the altitude reachable by balloon. It begins somewhere around 50 km. ...
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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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Is there any application for very low thrust engines within atmosphere?

Is there any (current, or planned, or hypothesized) practical application for engines of low thrust - like, below 40N - in the atmosphere? I'm asking this in relation to the Non-vacuum ion propulsion ...
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Non-vacuum ion propulsion

Are there any ion thrusters which could conceivably provide thrust inside the atmosphere? Not that they'd have enough thrust to take off under their own power, of course; I'm just wondering whether ...
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How long would a blimp last in Venusian atmosphere at an altitude of 65 km?

It would be the same blimp on Earth, except with some modifications like anti-corrosion coating. The blimp will use helium as the gas to keep it aloft. Would it last long enough to be useful?
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Faster alternative to travel to any location in the west

Suppose one needs to travel to Somalia from Indonesia(which are approximately at a distance of $4000$ miles from each other on the line of equator). To accomplish this task, I suggest the following ...
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How to produce oxygen out of Venusian atmosphere's carbon dioxide?

What are the possible methods of in-situ extraction of oxygen from the atmosphere of Venus, which is mostly carbon dioxide?
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How does Venus' thick atmosphere survive against the solar wind?

The traditional explanation for rocky inner planets and large gaseous outer planets is that the outer planets are farther from the Sun, and therefore can hold onto large atmospheres that don't get ...
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Does Venus have doldrums or horse latitudes (latitudes with lower winds)?

Because of all the heat fueling convection cells, Venus has some brisk winds especially in the upper atmosphere (up to 370 km/h). I realize the winds are quite slow at the surface, but are there any ...
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Limits of bypass ratio in air-augmented (ejector-jet/ducted) rocket

Air-augmented rockets have not historically been very successful. In most cases, adding a shroud around the outside of an existing rocket was a large weight cost in exchange for only a modest increase ...
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Why is the Karman line for Mars defined higher than for Earth?

In an answer to a similar question, the Karman Line for Mars is stated as being at 125km compared to 122km for Earth. However, Mars has an atmospheric pressure about 1/10 that of Earth, its ...
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Monoatomic species at orbital altitudes

Besides monoatomic oxygen, what other monoatomic or chemically reactive atmospheric or environmental constituents, if any, are present at orbital altitudes that aren't present at lower altitudes, and ...
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What is the problem with pressure?

Among other reasons, the high pressure of Venus and the gas giants atmospheres are often stated as one of the major problems for an unmanned lander. They say the pressure will "crush" the probe. Why ...
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Re-entry Dynamics

I've been reading around a lot and I haven't been able to find any clear explanations. Maybe I'm a bit confused or maybe I am just looking in the wrong places. My question is, what are some basic ...
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Could we fly on the Moon in Xenon?

The Moon is not capable of keeping an Earth like atmosphere, nor is it practical to keep satellites in lunar orbit. Which means all transportation and communication would need to be ground based. No ...
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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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If Mars had more atmosphere how warm would it be?

Looking at Venus, Earth and Mars, the closer you are to the sun the warmer you are. At the same time the warmer planets also have thicker atmospheres. ...
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Are Martian winds as strong as portrayed in “The Martian”?

I read Andy Weir's "The Martian" and saw the movie, which is supposed to be realistic science fiction. And I immediately saw a couple of huge flaws, one of which I'd like to tackle with this question: ...
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Titan - Is the source of so much Methane being overlooked?

Is the source of so much Methane on Titan being overlooked? Tons of very intelligent and knowledgeable people already looked at it, so the answer in undoubtedly "no", so I guess my question is more ...
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Flying in Thin Atmosphere [closed]

How thin could at atmosphere be before it could not be flown in using a modern plane? Does speed affect this to a reasonable degree?
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Maximum survivable atmospheric pressure

Given a similar mix of gases to those in our Earth's atmosphere, what is the upper limit of survivable atmospheric pressure for a human? Could a human survive higher pressures with a gas mix unlike ...
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Martian atmosphere's effect on radiation?

The atmosphere of Mars protects it's surface from micrometeorites. How significantly does the Martian atmosphere reduce radiation in comparison with, for example, the Moon's surface or open space?
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Is powered descent from orbit a viable method of reentry on bodies with an atmosphere?

Pretty much like the title says. Beyond a simple (one or more) retro burn into unpowered plummeting into the atmosphere, is some form of powered descent a viable method of reentry from orbit on ...
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What are the fast-moving, bright things I saw July 25, 2015 at night?

I am an amateur in space, and I usually read here to better my understanding. I was camping Saturday night (July 25, 2015), and while I was looking at the sky I noticed a bright object moving really ...
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Measuring the pressure and temperature of Pluto's atmosphere using stellar occultations

Is this primarily done analyzing the Voigt profiles absorption bands on background of stellar spectra or on re-emission bands of atmospheric compounds? Assuming Pluto's atmosphere behaves like an ...
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Orbital insertion by rotating shaft

Consider the following idea for inserting a human on the surface of the earth into orbit: In orbit, attach a long (~80km) rigid shaft to a large weight (presumably an asteroid) and set it spinning. ...
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What causes Pluto's atmosphere to recede/collapse?

An answer to this question sparked my curiosity. Pluto's atmosphere seems to come and go depending on its orbital position and distance from the Sun. If the heat up from coming closer to the Sun ...
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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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Is there a way to achieve any kind of atmospheric flight on the moon Europa?

I've been searching all over the site and the internet, but I can't find something about it. Is there really no way for a plane, helicopter or quad-copter to fly on the moon Europa? If it is possible,...
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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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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?
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Could you feel the wind on Mars?

The air pressure on Mars is about 1% that of Earth's at sea level. But wind speeds on Mars can be higher, up to maybe 60 mph sustained (actually I have come across several different figures, some ...
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Can it be said that Venus is covered by an ocean rather than atmosphere?

At Venusian temperatures and pressures, CO2 becomes supercritical. This means it behaves as a dense liquid yet has no clear upper bound and continuously becomes gas with height. Can we thus say that ...
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A cloud-top colony on Venus, will it drift to the poles?

Suppose a cloud-top colony on Venus. Provided that it has no thrusting engines, where it will tend to go naturally with winds, to the equator, to the poles or elsewhere?
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What useful materials can be extracted from Venusian atmosphere?

Consider a cloud-top colony on Venus. What materials needed for the upkeep and expanding of the colony can be taken from Venusian atmosphere, excluding any possibility of mining the surface?
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What are reentry speeds of space vehicles?

I found here that the entry speed of meteors reach 48 km/s. I mean just before hitting atmosphere. What are reentry speeds for space vehicles like the lunar command module? What about soyuz ...
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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 does an atmospheric probe measure temperature during descent?

I heard that the Galileo spacecraft sent Galileo Probe into Jupiter, and it reported temperatures reaching 153 degrees Celsius. The question is, when you send a probe crashing into a planet that has ...
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Does the Venusian atmosphere's “super rotation” actually rotate?

The atmosphere of Venus contains strong winds and is said to have a "super rotation" because the atmosphere (above a certain altitude) moves faster than what the ground does. No one can disagree with ...
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What differences from conventional aerodynamics would result from a thinner atmosphere?

Propulsion modules have been adapted to cope in earth's atmosphere. However what are some of the differences that would have to be taken into account if one was ever to fly in a thicker or thinner ...
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What would be the best recipe for a breathable atmosphere in a base on the Moon?

I was reading Why does the ISS atmosphere contain nitrogen, and I wondered if some of the explanations there would also apply to a base on the Moon. There are considerations on the Moon that don't ...
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Is it more challenging to put an airship in the Uranian than in the Venusian atmosphere?

The Soviet Union's (in cooperation with some European governments like France and West Germany) Vega missions put balloons in the atmosphere of Venus back in 1985. It was 30 years ago, the last ...
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How much sulphuric acid is on Venus?

According to Wikipedia there are just 150 ppm of sulphur dioxide and 20 ppm of water in Venus' atmosphere. At the same time it is known that there is a considerable amount of sulphuric acid in the ...
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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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Why can't infomation be transmitted during descent?

Apparently, no information could pass through plasma, therefore during descent of spacecraft, no information can be transmitted. Why so?
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Is the “airship to orbit” mission profile feasible?

By one of those weird coincidences, I had been on JP Aerospace's site mere hours before reading this question about space dirigibles here. Their mission plan seems too good to be true. They are ...
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At what altitude does transonic compressibility become a non-issue?

I know that on the forthcoming SpaceX attempt at sea landing the first stage, they have added hypersonic fins to the first stage. I was curious as to what altitude transonic compressibility is an ...
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Do atmospheric tides have any impact on orbiting satellites or rocket launches?

Wikipedia has an article on atmospheric tides but it is mostly earth based considerations. I was wondering if they have any impact on satellites or rocket launches? We know that satellites in Low ...