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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130 views

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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How much does pressure on Mars change with weather?

A great answer about the Mars atmosphere and water triple point shows there is a region on Mars where clean liquid water slightly above 0°C can exist on the surface. I still wonder, though, how ...
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Has an astronaut ever seen pixies, ELVEs, sprites or blue jets (without a camera)?

The NASA Science video ScienceCasts: A Display of Lights Above the Storm shows several examples of Transient Luminous Events (TLEs) (Upper Atmospheric Lightning) being filmed by high-sensitivity ...
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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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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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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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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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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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414 views

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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869 views

How do we measure the atmospheres of Solar system planets?

How much is it possible to measure from Earth and how accurately without sending probes to the planets? I am curious about how atmospheric boundary (altitude), atmospheric pressure, scale height were ...
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Launching sounding rockets from the magnetic equator (ISRO's Thumba)

The Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station is operated by ISRO for launching sounding rockets because magnetic equator passes through it. Equator gives additional velocity, But what advantage ...
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428 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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Could increased atmospheric pressure act as a countermeasure for effects of microgravity?

Are there any possibilities to counter the negative effects of low or micro gravity by increasing the atmospheric pressure?
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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 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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329 views

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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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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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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217 views

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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Does freezing carbon dioxide present a “temperature obstacle” on Mars?

I've noticed that the average low temperature at Gale Crater is -78.5 degrees, curiously the freezing temperature of Mars' atmosphere's main component. Is that more than a coincidence? Perhaps the ...
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756 views

Atmospheric scale height, how is it calculated?

Over on SE.Worldbuilding I found myself stuck on figuring what happens to the scale height of an atmosphere if the composition changes (The specific case involved something breathable in place of the ...
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314 views

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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GMAT atmosphere

I am using GMAT to propagate satellite motion with Jacchia-Roberts atmosphere model. Here is a formula used from this model which is then used to estimate the variation in drag on a spacecraft due to ...
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Mars greenhouse accessibility

Let's say a Mars outpost has an inflatable greenhouse. First, it is likely to be high-CO2, as CO2 is easy to acquire and increases plant growth. Second, it may be low-pressure, as plants don't need as ...
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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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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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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 it possible to bring “nothing” back from space?

I think the ultimate souvenir would be not a moon rock or a martian, but space "nothing", but I wonder if this is physically possible... Can an astronaut go out to space with an open container, close ...
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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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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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536 views

Can plants thrive without atmospheric nitrogen?

One of deficit resources on Mars is nitrogen. There's a plenty of carbon dioxide, and a modest amount of water. There's a deficit of nitrogen, but AFAIK plants use nitrogen in compounds found in soil, ...
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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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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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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 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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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 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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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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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 effects does atmosphere have on solar panels?

For the purpose of this question I do not want to focus simply on the fact that there will be less "night time" for the panels while in orbit/outside the atmosphere of a planet. What I'd like to ...
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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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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 would a Venus sky look like above the cloud tops night and day?

I know it will likely be a yellow haze at the surface level, but I've seen little info about what a Venus sky looks like above the cloud tops or in the midsts of them. Will the sky be blue like on ...
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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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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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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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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 is the typical size of the sulfuric acid droplets in the atmosphere of Venus?

According to Wikipedia: Venusian clouds are thick and are composed mainly (75-96%) of sulfuric acid droplets. These clouds obscure the surface of Venus from optical imaging, and reflect about 75% ...
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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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Double satellite flare on iridium 6 [duplicate]

Last night here in Southern California, I was watching the flare of the Iridium 6, I use the Sputnik app to alert me. I was amazed when I saw not one but two bright lights tracking simultaneously.. ...