Questions tagged [atmosphere]

For questions about the gases which surround a planet or some other celestial body.

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5
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1answer
46 views

Is it feasible to have an oxidizing planetary atmosphere without the presence of an organic photosynthesis of some kind on the planet?

With the emergence of cyanobacteria on earth 3.5 billion years ago, the shift from a reducing to an oxidizing atmosphere began. “The atmospheric O$_\textrm{2}$ levels (in PAL; i.e., normalized to the ...
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1answer
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Properties of an Argon based gas giant

I am writing a novel where a habitable moon orbits a purple gas giant. In looking here and elsewhere I'm finding it incredibly hard to get a sense of the elements-breakdown of elements that would be ...
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0answers
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What would a thicker atmosphere do to plant growth/evolution?

I'm working on a concept for a habitable world with venus-like atmospheric pressures, where humans have settled onto huge tabletop mountains where the atmosphere isn't as crushing. This is a ...
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3answers
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Artificial oxygen oasis in an otherwise CO2 atmosphere

I wonder if it is possible to install artificial equipment that would exhaust oxygen into air in otherwise CO2 atmosphere so that locally people could breath in open air without any kind of tent or ...
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3answers
169 views

What would happen if the mass of air around earth doubled?

So the mass of air around the earth has doubled. How it doubled isn't part of the question, but for the curious let's say a space station floating around earth processed all the nitrogen, oxygen, ...
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Are there *plausible* planetary conditions where jet aircraft just don't have much advantage over propeller-driven aircraft?

I've seen Which is easier to develop: a piston prop engine or a jet engine? and my own Effects of ~10atm pressure on engine design neither of which answers this. Would different atmospheric density, ...
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3answers
301 views

What does it look like inside a transparent glowing gas?

If you were inside of a gas that was producing its own light (for example, air at 900°C), what would it look like? Would it look foggy, or would objects that aren't the same colour as the glow still ...
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Can a perpetually darkening atmosphere exist and yet still allow life to evolve?

I am creating a science fiction worldbuilding project, in which humanity has colonised distant exoplanets. One such planet is a Venus-like planet in the sense that it has a perpetual cloud cover, ...
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1answer
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An Earth with a permanent winter state with drastically reduced temperature, dark skies and mass extinctions

I had posted a question a couple of days ago asking if it would be possible for an artificial satellite/cosmic body at the L1 orbit to block out the Sun, but the logistics of that is a little too ...
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1answer
134 views

Can the color of an alien sky be calculated solely from atmospheric composition and the star's (or stars') spectral type(s)?

What exactly are the relevant numbers for such a calculation, and can it account for the color of the sky? By sky color, I mean the day to day hue that humans (or something else with very similar ...
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120 views

Feasibility of Hydrogen-Oxygen Atmosphere

My augmented society of humans have managed to engineer their power-hungry cyborg components to run on a hydrogen fusion reactor. Whilst they have so far managed to fuel it by drinking lots of water, ...
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3answers
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Could power be generated using the temperature difference in venus's atmosphere?

On Venus the surface is around 467 degrees Celsius. At the top of the atmosphere it is much cooler, and at around 60 km above the surface the temperature is around 40 to 50 degrees Celsius. This is a ...
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1answer
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What are planetary side effects of having a thicker atmosphere?

I've been told that having a thicker atmosphere would make it easier to fly, particularly of heavier-than-air designs, so I'm interested in giving my planet such conditions. I'm mainly interested ...
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3answers
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Planet With Higher Atmospheric Pressure

Consider a planet with Earth like gravity but an atmosphere that is 10x what Earth has at sea level (atmospheric composition is equivalent to Earth). If the vegetation is similar to Earth's, would the ...
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3answers
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How would normal colors be affected if a planet's atmosphere was green?

Good day everyone. I've recently finally gotten around to writing a sci fi novel but need help on some of the science of a few concepts I would like to incorporate in the novel. I'll start with the ...
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1answer
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Calculating average sea-level air pressure

Right now I'm currently trying to calculate the average surface pressure at sea level of an atmosphere, but I'm having a struggle finding the relevant formulae with which to determine this number. ...
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1answer
75 views

Atmospheric isopropyl alcohol

Could a measurable amount of isopropyl alcohol occur naturally in an otherwise reasonably earth-like atmosphere? And if so, what is the highest possible concentration that a human could survive long-...
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233 views

How to explain a planet with visible cosmos at daytime?

So I'm working on a fictional planet which would experience a daytime sky similar to this. This particular picture is from the movie Valerian: City of a Thousand Planets. Fictional alien atmospheres ...
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1answer
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Aerodynamics of propeller vs screw/fin based aerial propulsion

Would it make sense to use screw- and fin-like bending surfaces for propulsion (like what eels or the king of herrings have but in the atmosphere) instead of regular propellers or even flapping wings ...
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2answers
136 views

Dinitrogen monoxide as a gaseous oxidizer for life

Could alien life use nitrous oxide, N2O, as its oxidizing gas, like oxygen on earth? What biochemical reactions would be needed to produce and utilise this gas? I've also heard conflicting messages, ...
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5answers
941 views

Can an atmosphere be thicker at higher altitudes?

Can a world exist where the atmosphere is actually thicker at some altitude than at sea level? If so, what mechanisms would be involved?
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2answers
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Carbon Monoxide Rich Atmosphere

I want to make an atmosphere rich in carbon monoxide, but as it doesn't stick around for very long, it will need to be replenished. I'm looking for concentrations comparable to those of carbon dioxide ...
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4answers
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Assuming a flat world and no obstacles, how far could you see?

I know this question has been asked in similar places, but I'm after a specific part of the problem. Assuming the following: Perfectly flat, infinite world Earth's atmosphere Sun directly overhead of ...
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1answer
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How long would it take for a room full of bodies to decay in a locked space station without oxygen? [duplicate]

So the idea is to have my main characters wake up from cryo with no idea of how long they were in it and stumble upon a room full of bodies completely decayed to bone and however long they were in ...
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6answers
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How could an Earth-like planet support all-metal airships?

When I say all-metal airships, I'm referring to something like the above from Jakub Rozalski's artwork - the design is more akin to a naval destroyer or battleship and less like a zeppelin. We've seen ...
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The One Problem With Terraforming and Colonizing a Super-Earth

Many people are excited with the idea of super-Earths--rocky, habitable exoplanets greater in mass, density and diameter (because I'd prefer to go the whole way than stop at the halfway point) than ...
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Are planets like the “To'ul'hian Worlds” from Orion's Arm plausible?

The Orion's Arm Universe Project includes a description of what they call "To'ul'hian Worlds", planets that are (in the simplest of terms) a cross between Earth and Venus. I'm working on designing a ...
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1answer
93 views

How extreme can a habitable tidaly locked world be?

I want to create a tidally locked world with a habitable (broadly Earth like atmosphere and biome that humans could breathe and live in) band stretching around the terminator pole to pole. There would ...
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2answers
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How does composition change if you extend an Earthlike atmosphere 50km below sea level?

I'm working to design the atmosphere of a fictional planet inspired by Venus (let's call it Cael). Cael's atmosphere at an altitude of 50 km is essentially identical to Earth's atmosphere at sea ...
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3answers
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Generating breathable air on Europa?

Humans have colonized the subsurface oceans of Europa - building large cities embedded in the icy crust, hanging beneath it, and resting on the rocky seafloor. These colonists mine metals for ...
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1answer
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Orange Suns and Blue Jupiters

I am developing a fictional planetary system in which a large gas giant planet (slightly less than the mass of Saturn), has migrated into the habitable zone during the formational years of the system, ...
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3answers
163 views

Alien planet concept: could a completely misty, dark atmosphere be possible?

I was thinking of creating an alien planet that orbits a star slightly past the habitable zone, but is kept warm by an extremely dense atmosphere, made primarily of a black gas, but still contains ...
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A character steps outside in the upper atmosphere of Venus- how sunburned is he?

For complicated reasons our hero's blimp in the Venus atmosphere at an altitude of 50 km gets a tear in it and sunlight floods inside (there is no gondola, the blimp is a semi-ellipsoid of breathable ...
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1answer
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Would there be Rayleigh scattering in an atmosphere of sulfur dioxide?

Can a planet with a dense atmosphere composed mainly of sulfur dioxide have a blue sky like Earth's due to Rayleigh scattering? Or would the composition change the color of the sky? I mean, it's well ...
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2answers
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What would gravity, breath, and human bodies be like near the heart of the Earth?

If humans lived on the inside of the earth's crust, what would happen if they climbed mountains? These mountains would stretch toward the burning center of the Earth. Would gravity get stronger the ...
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4answers
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How to get a green gas giant?

In Deep, deep space, there exists a star system with a single planet. This planet, named Dewel, is a large, green gas giant with a mass of about twice Jupiter's. What could this planet's atmosphere ...
4
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1answer
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Astronaut Survival on a Toxic (Ammonia) Watery Planet

My story begins with a group of colonists on a ship when something happens (spoilers) and the colonists are forced to abandon ship and land on a nearby uncharted moon of a gas giant. The good news: ...
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0answers
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Alternative Ozone Layer [duplicate]

The reason for the high level of Oxygen in the atmosphere today is due to the billions of years worth of photosynthetic prokaryotes releasing it as a waste product. Of course, in the higher levels of ...
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2answers
157 views

Jupiter Leaks Into Earth

A recent question here on SE:WB reminded me of a short story I wrote a long time ago, and has inspired me to revisit the idea. The premise: A race of massive alien creatures travel from planet to ...
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3answers
128 views

Sustainability of Regular Global Wildfires Due to Oxygen Rich Atmosphere

So, I've heard that above around 35% O2 concentration in Earth-like atmospheres leads to wildfires that just never go out. I'm thinking of using this like California, with its regularly occuring ...
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2answers
107 views

What would be the effect(s) of high-speed plasma impacting a planet?

As a follow-up to this question, what would be the effect(s) of a high-speed of super-heated plasma entering and impacting on a planet? The planet is about the size of 1.2x Earth(s), with a similar ...
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1answer
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What gas can replace ozone as a UV filter in a planet's atmosphere?

Consider a planet with life forms, which are different than those found here on Earth, orbiting a star similar to the Sun. Such life forms don't use oxygen and, therefore, the planet's atmosphere is ...
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2answers
139 views

How might an exoplanet have a highly radioactive atmosphere?

The exoplanet in question is Proxima Centauri b. How might the mid-to-upper-level atmosphere of that planet be dangerously radioactive and full of airborne nuclear reagents, without it being the ...
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Could dinosaurs breathe modern air?

During much of the Cretaceous period, oxygen levels were substantially higher than they are currently, with estimates indicating that around 30% of the atmosphere consisted of oxygen. Obviously, this ...
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2answers
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Tall trees : atmospheric pressure

In my previous post, I asked about how tall trees could grow in my world. To be honest, I really need those trees to be huge for my storie, because a big part of the plot will be linked to those big ...
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1answer
75 views

Life-supporting climate for an organolithium planetary environment?

I'm looking to design one of my warring planets around organolithium chemistry with seas and precipitate primarily composed of a clear organolithium solvent liquid - possibly ammonia. I've searched ...
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6answers
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'Nuke the sky' to make a rocket launch a tiny bit easier

My aliens want to build the heaviest chemical rocket possible: They never were much into space travel, since their planets' gravity is about 1.5 of ours. They made lots of bad experiences fighting ...
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Could you fly a Boeing 747 on Venus?

I have been making a future colonization scenario where people have vast colonies on Mars and cloud top bases on Venus. These things are unbelievably large. I've already thought of a way to travel ...
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3answers
162 views

What's a plausible reason for a bacteria/disease to only exist near the surface of a planet?

Context: Humans have escaped a a super-bacteria, similar in situation to the Bubonic Plague, that they could not create a cure for. They've done this by engineering gargantuan trees and adapting to ...
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2answers
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What would happens if global warming cause enough atmosphere loss?

What would happens if due to increased volume and reduced density, the global warming cause consistent loss into space of certain gases of atmosphere? What would we observe?

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