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Latest Planetary atmospheres Stories

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2009-03-02 11:48:22

Using ESO's Very Large Telescope, astronomers have gained valuable new insights about the atmosphere of the dwarf planet Pluto. The scientists found unexpectedly large amounts of methane in the atmosphere, and also discovered that the atmosphere is hotter than the surface by about 40 degrees, although it still only reaches a frigid minus 180 degrees Celsius. These properties of Pluto's atmosphere may be due to the presence of pure methane patches or of a methane-rich layer covering the dwarf...

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2009-02-24 10:35:00

ESA's Venus Express spacecraft has observed an eerie glow in the night-time atmosphere of Venus. This infrared light comes from nitric oxide and is showing scientists that the atmosphere of Earth's nearest neighbor is a temperamental place of high winds and turbulence. Unfortunately, the glow on Venus cannot be seen with the naked eye because it occurs at the invisible wavelengths of infrared. ESA's Venus Express, however, is equipped with the Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer...

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2009-02-10 20:10:00

The challenge: very precisely measure carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere all over the world, especially near Earth's surface. For Orbiting Carbon Observatory Principal Investigator David Crisp of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., and his team, the logical solution was an Earth-orbiting spacecraft. But shopping for a science instrument that could accomplish these objectives was no easy task. In this case, "shopping" meant finding the right technology to meet the mission's...

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2008-12-16 10:04:35

CU-Boulder findings should help satellite tracking, communication forecasting A new University of Colorado at Boulder study shows the periodic "breathing" of Earth's upper atmosphere that has long puzzled scientists is due in part to cyclic solar wind disturbances, a finding that should help engineers track satellites more accurately and improve forecasts for electronic communication disruptions. Aerospace engineering sciences department Associate Professor Jeff Thayer said the outer, gaseous...

2008-12-03 17:09:34

For over two centuries, meteorologists were puzzled by the observation that atmospheric pressure in the tropics peaks at 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. nearly every day. In the late 1960s, a theory was proposed that these surface pressure variations result from waves that are generated by the sun's heating of the upper atmosphere. The waves, called solar tides, propagate to the ground as they travel around the globe. Strong support for this theory has now been presented in a study by a US-Japan team of...

dc5c344790e9e9d139c7ffd87bfce67a1
2008-12-03 10:16:18

For over two centuries, meteorologists were puzzled by the observation that atmospheric pressure in the tropics peaks at 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. nearly every day. In the late 1960s, a theory was proposed that these surface pressure variations result from waves that are generated by the sun's heating of the upper atmosphere. The waves, called solar tides, propagate to the ground as they travel around the globe. Strong support for this theory has now been presented in a study by a US-Japan team of...

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2008-11-25 12:50:00

Jupiter has a rocky core that is more than twice as large as previously thought, according to computer calculations by a University of California, Berkeley, geophysicist who simulated conditions inside the planet on the scale of individual hydrogen and helium atoms. The results were published Nov. 20 in Astrophysical Journal Letters. The simulation predict the properties of hydrogen-helium mixtures at the extreme pressures and temperatures that occur in Jupiter's interior, which cannot yet be...

2008-08-14 16:41:06

For almost thirty years, scientists have known that complex carbon compounds called tholins exist on comets and in the atmospheres of the outer planets. Theoretically, tholins might interact with water in a process called hydrolysis to produce complex molecules similar to those found on the early Earth. On the Earth, complex organic molecules are believed to have been an early step in the emergence of life; such compounds are called prebiotic. Titan, the sixth and largest moon...

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2008-04-04 15:55:00

ESA's Venus Express has measured a highly variable quantity of the volcanic gas sulphur dioxide in the atmosphere of Venus. Scientists must now decide whether this is evidence for active volcanoes on Venus, or linked to a hitherto unknown mechanism affecting the upper atmosphere. The search for volcanoes is a long-running thread in the exploration of Venus. "Volcanoes are a key part of a climate system," says Fred Taylor, a Venus Express Interdisciplinary Scientist from Oxford University....

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2008-03-05 09:05:00

Using two ESA spacecraft, planetary scientists are watching the atmospheres of Mars and Venus being stripped away into space. The simultaneous observations by Mars Express and Venus Express give scientists the data they need to investigate the evolution of the two planets' atmospheres. Scientists call this work comparative planetology. Mars Express and Venus Express are so good at it because they carry very similar science instruments. In the case of the Analyser of Space Plasmas and...


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
kenspeckle
  • Having so marked an appearance as easily to be recognized.
This word may come from the Swedish 'kanspak,' quick at recognizing persons or things, or else from confusion with 'conspicuous.'