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Latest Planetary atmospheres Stories

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2011-04-20 10:20:34

A British-based team of astronomers has discovered carbon monoxide gas in the atmosphere of Pluto, after a worldwide search lasting for nearly two decades. Team leader Dr Jane Greaves of the University of St Andrews will present the new discovery in her talk on Wednesday 20 April at the National Astronomy Meeting in Venue Cymru, Llandudno, Wales. Pluto was discovered in 1930 and then considered as the Sun's smallest and most distant planet. Since 2006 it has been regarded by astronomers as a...

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2011-04-20 08:45:25

Mercury's Exosphere: A Brief Overview One of the primary science goals of MESSENGER is to study Mercury's very thin atmosphere, or exosphere. Although observations of the exosphere from orbit have begun, these data must be carefully calibrated, and analysis is still underway. In the meantime, here is a primer on Mercury's exosphere: what it is, how we observe it, and why it is important. What Is Mercury's Exosphere? Mercury's atmosphere is so tenuous that the atoms or molecules comprising it...

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2011-04-19 13:25:00

High up in the sky near the poles some 50 miles above the ground, silvery blue clouds sometimes appear, shining brightly in the night. First noticed in 1885, these clouds are known as noctilucent, or "night shining," clouds. Their discovery spawned over a century of research into what conditions causes them to form and vary "“ questions that still tantalize scientists to this day. Since 2007, a NASA mission called Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM) has shown that the cloud...

2011-02-16 14:02:00

LEHIGH VALLEY, Pa., Feb. 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Air Products (NYSE: APD) has been selected by Solar Atmospheres, Inc., the largest commercial vacuum heat treating company in North America, to provide industrial gases for its newest plant in Fontana, Calif. Air Products will supply Solar Atmospheres with nitrogen, argon and helium for use in the vacuum processing of metals. With this latest contract, Air Products continues to supply all of Solar Atmosphere's nitrogen, argon and helium...

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2011-02-03 15:05:00

Every day is a bad-air day on Saturn's largest moon, Titan. Blanketed by haze far worse than any smog belched out in Los Angeles, Beijing or even Sherlock Holmes's London, the moon looks like a dirty orange ball. Described once as crude oil without the sulfur, the haze is made of tiny droplets of hydrocarbons with other, more noxious chemicals mixed in. Gunk. Icky as it may sound, Titan is really the rarest of gems: the only moon in our solar system with an atmosphere worthy of a planet. This...

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2010-12-08 14:04:37

Discovery opens door to new class of exoplanets A team led by a former postdoctoral researcher in MIT's Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences and the MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics, recently measured the first-ever planetary atmosphere that is substantially enriched in carbon. The researchers found that the carbon-to-oxygen ratio of WASP-12b, an exoplanet about 1.4 times the mass of Jupiter and located about 1,200 light years away, is greater than one. As they report...

2010-12-01 13:12:00

WASHINGTON, Dec. 1, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A team of astronomers, including two NASA Sagan Fellows, has made the first characterizations of a super-Earth's atmosphere by using a ground-based telescope. A super-Earth is a planet up to three times the size of Earth and weighing up to 10 times as much. The findings, reported in the Dec. 2 issue of the journal Nature, are a significant milestone toward eventually being able to probe the atmospheres of Earth-like planets for signs of...

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2010-12-01 12:50:00

The atmosphere around a super-Earth exoplanet has been analyzed for the first time by an international team of astronomers using ESO's Very Large Telescope. The planet, which is known as GJ 1214b, was studied as it passed in front of its parent star and some of the starlight passed through the planet's atmosphere. We now know that the atmosphere is either mostly water in the form of steam or is dominated by thick clouds or hazes. The results will appear in the 2 December 2010 issue of the...

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2010-11-30 08:40:00

A mysterious high-altitude layer of sulphur dioxide discovered by ESA's Venus Express has been explained. As well as telling us more about Venus, it could be a warning against injecting our atmosphere with sulphur droplets to mitigate climate change. Venus is blanketed in sulphuric acid clouds that block our view of the surface. The clouds form at altitudes of 50"“70 km when sulphur dioxide from volcanoes combines with water vapor to make sulphuric acid droplets. Any remaining...

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2010-11-07 07:54:19

Nine years after beginning its unprecedented look at the gateway between Earth's environment and space, not to mention collecting more data on the upper atmosphere than any other satellite, NASA's Thermosphere Ionosphere Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics (TIMED) mission has been extended again. Before the launch of TIMED, the mesosphere and lower thermosphere/ionosphere -- which help protect us from harmful solar radiation -- had been one of the least explored and understood regions of our...


Latest Planetary atmospheres Reference Libraries

Earth's Atmosphere
2004-10-19 04:45:44

Earth's Atmosphere -- Earth's atmosphere consists of nitrogen (78.1%) and oxygen (20.9%), with small amounts of argon (0.9%), carbon dioxide (variable, but around 0.035%), water vapor, and other gases. The atmosphere protects life on Earth by absorbing ultraviolet solar radiation and reducing temperature extremes between day and night. 75% of the atmosphere exists within 11km of the planetary surface. Temperature and the Atmospheric Layers The temperature of the Earth's atmosphere...

Sky
2004-10-19 04:45:44

Sky -- Although almost everyone have seen it, sky is hard to be defined precisely. Generally, sky is the space seen when one looks upward from the surface of a planet. Some people define sky as the denser gaseous zone of a planet's atmosphere. Clouds, rainbows and weather all occur amongst a planet's sky. In astronomy, the sky is divided into many regions, called constellations. The blue colour of the daytime sky results from the selective scattering of light rays. When the sunlight...

4_8f22c004497825023679cbda1abc7a952
2004-10-19 04:45:41

Saturn's moon Titan -- Titan is the planet Saturn's largest moon. It is larger than either of the planets Mercury or Pluto and is the second-largest moon in the solar system after Ganymede (it was originally thought to be slightly larger than Ganymede, but recent observations have shown that its thick atmosphere caused overestimation of its diameter). Titan was discovered on March 25, 1655 by the Dutch astronomer Christian Huygens, making it one of the first non-terrestrial moons to be...

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Word of the Day
cacodemon
  • An evil spirit; a devil.
  • A nightmare.
  • In astrology, the twelfth house of a scheme or figure of the heavens: so called from its signifying dreadful things, such as secret enemies, great losses, imprisonment, etc.
'Cacodemon' comes from a Greek term meaning 'evil genius.'
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