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Encyclopedia > Atmosphere
View of Jupiter's active atmosphere, including the Great Red Spot.
View of Jupiter's active atmosphere, including the Great Red Spot.

An atmosphere (from Greek ατμός - atmos, "vapor" + σφαίρα - sphaira, "sphere") is a layer of gases that may surround a material body of sufficient mass.[1] The gases are attracted by the gravity of the body, and are retained for a longer duration if gravity is high and the atmosphere's temperature is low. Some planets consist mainly of various gases, and therefore have very deep atmospheres (see gas giants). The Weather Channel (TWC) is a cable and satellite television network that broadcasts weather and weather-related news 24 hours a day. ... Look up atmosphere in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Download high resolution version (1920x2400, 294 KB)Jupiter as seen by the space probe Cassini. This is the most detailed global color portrait of Jupiter ever assembled. ... Download high resolution version (1920x2400, 294 KB)Jupiter as seen by the space probe Cassini. This is the most detailed global color portrait of Jupiter ever assembled. ... For other uses, see Jupiter (disambiguation). ... A false-color image of the Great Red Spot of Jupiter from Voyager 1. ... This article is about the chemical use. ... For other uses, see Sphere (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Gas (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Mass (disambiguation). ... Gravity is a force of attraction that acts between bodies that have mass. ... This article is about the astronomical term. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


distant and cold Titan, Triton, and Pluto are able to retain their atmospheres despite relatively low gravities. Interstellar planets, theoretically, may also retain thick atmospheres. Titan (, from Ancient Greek Τῑτάν) or Saturn VI is the largest moon of Saturn and the only moon known to have a dense atmosphere. ... Triton (trye-tÉ™n, IPA: , Greek Τρίτων), or Neptune I, is the planet Neptunes largest moon. ... For other uses, see Pluto (disambiguation). ... An interstellar planet is a hypothetical type of rogue planet that has been ejected from its solar system by a proto-gas giant to become an outcast, drifting in interstellar space. ...


Since a gas at any particular temperature will have molecules moving at a wide range of velocities, there will almost always be some slow leakage of gas into space. Lighter molecules move faster than heavier ones with the same thermal kinetic energy, and so gases of low molecular weight are lost more rapidly than those of high molecular weight. It is thought that Venus and Mars may have both lost much of their water when, after being photodissociated into hydrogen and oxygen by solar ultraviolet, the hydrogen escaped. Earth's magnetic field helps to prevent this, as, normally, the solar wind would greatly enhance the escape of hydrogen. However, over the past 3 billion years the Earth may have lost gases through the magnetic polar regions due to auroral activity, including a net 2% of its atmospheric oxygen.[2] The cars of a roller coaster reach their maximum kinetic energy when at the bottom of their path. ... The molecular mass (abbreviated Mr) of a substance, formerly also called molecular weight and abbreviated as MW, is the mass of one molecule of that substance, relative to the unified atomic mass unit u (equal to 1/12 the mass of one atom of carbon-12). ... For other uses, see Ultraviolet (disambiguation). ... This article is about Earth as a planet. ... For the indie-pop band, see The Magnetic Fields. ...


Other mechanisms that can cause atmosphere depletion are solar wind-induced sputtering, impact erosion, weathering, and sequestration — sometimes referred to as "freezing out" — into the regolith and polar caps. There are several different processes that can lead to the escape of a planetary atmosphere. ... The plasma in the solar wind meeting the heliopause The solar wind is a stream of charged particles (i. ... Artists impression of a major impact event. ... Weathering is the decomposition of rocks, soils and their minerals through direct contact with the Earths atmosphere. ... Regolith (Greek: blanket rock) is a layer of loose, heterogeneous material covering solid rock. ... This article is about polar ice caps in general. ...

Contents

Composition

Atmospheric gases scatter blue light more than other wavelengths, giving the Earth a blue halo when seen from space.
Atmospheric gases scatter blue light more than other wavelengths, giving the Earth a blue halo when seen from space.

Initial atmospheric makeup is generally related to the chemistry and temperature of the local solar nebula during planetary formation and the subsequent escape of interior gases. These original atmospheres underwent much evolution over time, with the varying properties of each planet resulting in very different outcomes. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 531 pixelsFull resolution (3027 × 2010 pixel, file size: 543 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Identification Mission: ISS013 Roll: E Frame: 54329 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS013 Country or Geographic Name: Features: EARTH LIMB, MOON, CLOUD TOPS Center... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 531 pixelsFull resolution (3027 × 2010 pixel, file size: 543 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Identification Mission: ISS013 Roll: E Frame: 54329 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS013 Country or Geographic Name: Features: EARTH LIMB, MOON, CLOUD TOPS Center... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...


The atmospheres of the planets Venus and Mars are primarily composed of carbon dioxide, with small quantities of nitrogen, argon, oxygen and traces of other gases. For other uses, see Venus (disambiguation). ... This article is about the planet. ... Carbon dioxide (chemical formula: ) is a chemical compound composed of two oxygen atoms covalently bonded to a single carbon atom. ... General Name, symbol, number nitrogen, N, 7 Chemical series nonmetals Group, period, block 15, 2, p Appearance colorless gas Standard atomic weight 14. ... General Name, symbol, number argon, Ar, 18 Chemical series noble gases Group, period, block 18, 3, p Appearance colorless Standard atomic weight 39. ... This article is about the chemical element and its most stable form, or dioxygen. ...


The atmospheric composition on Earth is largely governed by the by-products of the very life that it sustains. Earth's atmosphere consists principally of a roughly 78:20 ratio of nitrogen and oxygen, plus substantial water vapor (a gas), with a minor proportion of carbon dioxide. There are traces of hydrogen, and of argon, helium and other "noble" gases (and of volatile pollutants). Exact measurements are difficult, except for particular locales at a particular time. Earths atmosphere is the layer of gases surrounding the planet Earth and retained by the Earths gravity. ...


The low temperatures and higher gravity of the gas giantsJupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune — allows them to more readily retain gases with low molecular masses. These planets have hydrogen-helium atmospheres, with trace amounts of more complex compounds. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... For other uses, see Jupiter (disambiguation). ... This article is about the planet. ... For other uses, see Uranus (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Neptune (disambiguation). ... The molecular mass (abbreviated Mr) of a substance, formerly also called molecular weight and abbreviated as MW, is the mass of one molecule of that substance, relative to the unified atomic mass unit u (equal to 1/12 the mass of one atom of carbon-12). ...


Two satellites of the outer planets possess non-negligible atmospheres: Titan, a moon of Saturn, and Triton, a moon of Neptune, which are mainly nitrogen. Pluto, in the nearer part of its orbit, has an atmosphere of nitrogen and methane similar to Triton's, but these gases are frozen when farther from the Sun. Titan (, from Ancient Greek Τῑτάν) or Saturn VI is the largest moon of Saturn and the only moon known to have a dense atmosphere. ... Triton (trye-tÉ™n, IPA: , Greek Τρίτων), or Neptune I, is the planet Neptunes largest moon. ... General Name, symbol, number nitrogen, N, 7 Chemical series nonmetals Group, period, block 15, 2, p Appearance colorless gas Standard atomic weight 14. ... For other uses, see Pluto (disambiguation). ...


Other bodies within the Solar System have extremely thin atmospheres not in equilibrium. These include the Moon (sodium gas), Mercury (sodium gas), Europa (oxygen), Io (sulfur), and Enceladus (water vapor). This article is about Earths moon. ... For sodium in the diet, see Salt. ... This article is about the planet. ... Apparent magnitude: 5. ... Atmosphere Surface pressure: trace Composition: 90% sulfur dioxide Io (eye-oe, IPA: , Greek Ῑώ) is the innermost of the four Galilean moons of Jupiter and, with a diameter of 3,642 kilometers, is the fourth largest moon in the Solar System. ... This article is about the chemical element. ... Apparent magnitude 11. ...


The atmospheric composition of an extra-solar planet was first determined using the Hubble Space Telescope. Planet HD 209458b is a gas giant with a close orbit around a star in the constellation Pegasus. The atmosphere is heated to temperatures over 1,000 K, and is steadily escaping into space. Hydrogen, oxygen, carbon and sulfur have been detected in the planet's inflated atmosphere.[3] Infrared Image of a possible extrasolar planet (lower left) in the Constellation Taurus, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. ... The Hubble Space Telescope (HST; also known colloquially as the Hubble or just Hubble) is a space telescope that was carried into Earth orbit by the Space Shuttle in April 1990. ... HD 209458 is an 8th magnitude star in the constellation Pegasus. ... This article is about the star grouping. ... For other uses, see Pegasus (disambiguation). ...


Structure

Earth

Main article: Earth's atmosphere

The Earth's atmosphere consists, from the ground up, of the troposphere (which includes the planetary boundary layer or peplosphere as lowest layer), stratosphere, mesosphere, ionosphere (or thermosphere), exosphere and the magnetosphere. Each of the layers has a different lapse rate, defining the rate of change in temperature with height. Air redirects here. ... Air redirects here. ... Atmosphere diagram showing the mesosphere and other layers. ... The planetary boundary layer (PBL), also known as the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) or peplosphere, is the lowest part of the atmosphere and its behavior is directly influenced by its contact with a planetary surface. ... This article is about the stratosphere layer; for the hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, see Stratosphere Las Vegas. ... The mesosphere (from the Greek words mesos = middle and sphaira = ball) is the layer of the Earths atmosphere that is directly above the stratosphere and directly below the thermosphere. ... Relationship of the atmosphere and ionosphere The ionosphere is the uppermost part of the atmosphere, distinguished because it is ionized by solar radiation. ... The thermosphere is the layer of the earths atmosphere directly above the mesosphere and directly below the exosphere. ... [fAgot png|thumb|200px|right|Atmosphere diagram showing the exosphere and other layers. ... A magnetosphere is the region around an astronomical object in which phenomena are dominated or organized by its magnetic field. ... The lapse rate is defined as the negative of the rate of change in an atmospheric variable, usually temperature, with height observed while moving upwards through an atmosphere. ...


Three quarters of the atmosphere lies within the troposphere, and the depth of this layer varies between 17 km at the equator and 7 km at the poles. The ozone layer, which absorbs ultraviolet energy from the Sun, is located primarily in the stratosphere, at altitudes of 15 to 35 km. The Kármán line, located within the thermosphere at an altitude of 100 km, is commonly used to define the boundary between the Earth's atmosphere and outer space. However, the exosphere can extend from 500 up to 10,000 km above the surface, where it interacts with the planet's magnetosphere. The ozone layer is a layer in Earths atmosphere which contains relatively high concentrations of ozone (O3). ... For other uses, see Ultraviolet (disambiguation). ... Edge of space redirects here. ...


Others

Other astronomical bodies such as these listed have known atmospheres.


In our solar system

Mercurys primordial atmosphere dissipated shortly after the planets formation because of both the low level of gravity on the planet, the high temperature,and the effects of the solar wind. ... Venus, the second planet from the Sun, has an atmosphere very different from that of Earth. ... The atmosphere of the Moon is very tenuous and insignificant in comparison to that of the Earth. ... Mars, the fourth planet from the Sun, has a very different atmosphere from that of Earth. ... This article is about the planet. ... This article is about the planet Saturns largest natural satellite. ... Apparent magnitude 11. ... The bland face of Uranus, as imaged by Voyager 2 in 1986. ...

Outside our solar system

HD 209458 b is an extrasolar planet that orbits the Sun-like star HD 209458 in the constellation Pegasus, some 150 light-years from Earths solar system, with evidence of water vapor. ...

Circulation

The circulation of the atmosphere occurs due to thermal differences when convection becomes a more efficient transporter of heat than thermal radiation. On planets where the primary heat source is solar radiation, excess heat in the tropics is transported to higher latitudes. When a planet generates a significant amount of heat internally, such as is the case for Jupiter, convection in the atmosphere can transport thermal energy from the higher temperature interior up to the surface. Atmospheric circulation is the large-scale movement of air, and the means (together with the smaller ocean circulation) by which heat is distributed on the surface of the Earth. ... Convection in the most general terms refers to the movement of currents within fluids (i. ... Radiant heat redirects here. ... For other uses, see Jupiter (disambiguation). ...


Importance

From the perspective of the planetary geologist, the atmosphere is an evolutionary agent essential to the morphology of a planet. The wind transports dust and other particles which erodes the relief and leaves deposits (eolian processes). Frost and precipitations, which depend on the composition, also influence the relief. Climate changes can influence a planet's geological history. Conversely, studying surface of earth leads to an understanding of the atmosphere and climate of a planet - both its present state and its past. The Geologist by Carl Spitzweg A geologist is a contributor to the science of geology, studying the physical structure and processes of the Earth and planets of the solar system (see planetary geology). ... Comparative anatomy is the study of similarities and differences in the anatomy of organisms. ... This article is about the astronomical term. ... For other uses, see Wind (disambiguation). ... Look up dust in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see Terrain (journal). ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into sediment. ... Eolian (or aeolian) processes pertain to the activity of the winds. ... The frost line is the level down to which the soil will normally freeze each winter in a given area. ...


For a meteorologist, the composition of the atmosphere determines the climate and its variations. Meteorology is the scientific study of the atmosphere that focuses on weather processes and forecasting. ...


For a biologist, the composition is closely dependent on the appearance of the life and its evolution. A biologist is a scientist devoted to and producing results in biology through the study of organisms. ... This article is about evolution in biology. ...


References

  1. ^ Ontario Science Centre website
  2. ^ Seki, K.; Elphic, R. C.; Hirahara, M.; Terasawa, T.; Mukai, T. (2001). "On Atmospheric Loss of Oxygen Ions from Earth Through Magnetospheric Processes". Science 291 (5510): 1939-1941. doi:10.1126/science.1058913. 
  3. ^ Weaver, D.; Villard, R.. "Hubble Probes Layer-cake Structure of Alien World's Atmosphere", Hubble News Center, January 31, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-03-11. 

A digital object identifier (or DOI) is a standard for persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property on a digital network and associating it with related data, the metadata, in a structured extensible way. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 70th day of the year (71st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

See also

Atmospheric sciences Portal
Image File history File links Portal. ... The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. ... Layers of Atmosphere (NOAA) The Karman Line is an internationally designated altitude commonly used to define outer space. ... Relationship of the atmosphere and ionosphere The ionosphere is the uppermost part of the atmosphere, distinguished because it is ionized by solar radiation. ... Photo taken during the French 1999 eclipse The stellar atmosphere is the outer region of the volume of a star, lying above the stellar core, radiation zone and convection zone. ... Photo taken during the French 1999 eclipse The stellar atmosphere is the outer region of the volume of a star, lying above the stellar core, radiation zone and convection zone. ... Venus, the second planet from the Sun, has an atmosphere very different from that of Earth. ... Air redirects here. ... Mars, the fourth planet from the Sun, has a very different atmosphere from that of Earth. ... This article is about the planet Saturns largest natural satellite. ... The bland face of Uranus, as imaged by Voyager 2 in 1986. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 531 pixelsFull resolution (3027 × 2010 pixel, file size: 543 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Identification Mission: ISS013 Roll: E Frame: 54329 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS013 Country or Geographic Name: Features: EARTH LIMB, MOON, CLOUD TOPS Center... Mercurys primordial atmosphere dissipated shortly after the planets formation because of both the low level of gravity on the planet, the high temperature,and the effects of the solar wind. ... The atmosphere of the Moon is very tenuous and insignificant in comparison to that of the Earth. ...

 
 

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