I'm currently writing a script about planetary colonization. And I've got the idea of a planet with a kind of "colored stains" in its atmosphere but still suitable for life in both locations. I was looking for colored gases that could look like clouds to make that stain. But I was wondering what could be the cause for the gas to exist. During a discussion with some friends we arrived to two conclusions:

[The meteor one]

During the formation of the planet a meteor crashed, causing a deep crater. With the ages passing, the nature had regrown around the meteor. But minerals in the meteor cause a reaction with gas molecules in the atmosphere. It then creates the colored gas and due to his density it would be kept in the crater. So as Nature gets closer to the gas, it would start to mutate to suit the environment. And with years and years of mutation a symbiotic gas fed ecosystem would keep the gas production even if the meteor's minerals have dried up.

[The volcano one]

In the bowels of the planet, due to the planetary core composition, high pressure and rock composition, the colored gas is created and dissolved in the rocks. With the planet's volcano activity, the hotspots and more specifically those with high activity, the gas is liberated in the atmosphere causing the creation of the colored gas.

Our question is which one would be the most likely phenomenon (they surely need some adjustment) or if you have a better solution to this stained atmosphere we would gladly use it.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ While I appreciate you have accepted my answer, we advice to wait at least 24 hours before accepting one. In that way your question attracts more attention and you can get more and potentially better answers $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Jul 21, 2020 at 11:20
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Yes of course. So i unchecked your answer for now. thanks for the advice. $\endgroup$
    – Trobibot
    Jul 21, 2020 at 11:44
  • $\begingroup$ Don't forget "the industrial one". It depends on the stage of development of the planet though. d2gg9evh47fn9z.cloudfront.net/800px_COLOURBOX1884617.jpg $\endgroup$ Jul 21, 2020 at 13:49
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not clear what '"colored stains" in its atmosphere' envisions. Is this like the different colors of Jupiter's cloud layers? Or weird colored (purple) hazes or clouds in places in addition to the usual white/grey? Or simply an atmosphere of a different color (orange instead of blue)? "Stains" often means a permanent unusual or unwanted discoloration -- it that intended? $\endgroup$
    – user535733
    Jul 21, 2020 at 16:52
  • $\begingroup$ I imagined it like clouds in an in a specific location, but they don't need to literally be clouds. I just need something that mimics the mechanics. $\endgroup$
    – Trobibot
    Jul 22, 2020 at 8:30

2 Answers 2


Deep craters do not stay deep for long if the planet has an atmosphere and an hydrosphere. Compare the Earth with the Moon. Moreover it's hard to have a meteorite which on impact stays whole and does not shatter.

I think the volcanic mechanism is the one which can better cause a constant and prolonged emission of colored gases.

However mind that there must be also a mechanism degrading the colored gas, else the atmosphere will end up being saturated and with an homogeneous color.

  • Pollen: A plant prodigious in a large region puts out a pollen difficult to see when uniformly distributed, but staining the sky when its density increases (with weather/pressure changes). The pollen is small enough, light enough, and produced consistently enough, that it remains suspended in the air for long periods of time.

  • Atmospheric Crystallization: Inorganic fluids in the water evaporate along with the water, crystallize in the atmosphere, which turns them another color as they descend (think "colored rain").

  • Nebula Droppings  Your planetary system is in a nebula such that nebula material (or in a binary star system such that material from the second star) is being pulled into the primary star. This means matter is passing through the system, perhaps at an angle not easily "swept clean" by the orbits of planets. Consequently (and periodically, if you want) the planet suffers from nebula mass falling through the atmosphere. (This one's enough of a stretch that astrophysicists would raise an eyebrow and think, "amateur...," but that's a pretty low percentage of your viewers. If Intergalactic can make money, so could this.) This idea could be used as the basis for other sources, like a stream of matter coming from the Oort cloud.

  • Floral Flatulence: Plants on your planet build up enormous amounts of methane/hydrogen/sulfur/etc gas before expelling that gas all in one go. The effect is localized and temporary, but the sudden increase in density could justify streaks of deeper blue due to reighley scattering. (Big plants....) This one's a bigger stretch than the last one, but the 11-year-old inside me likes it better.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .