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Astronomy Week 12 Notes

by: Raleigh Zook

Astronomy Week 12 Notes ASTR 1210

Marketplace > University of Virginia > Astronomy > ASTR 1210 > Astronomy Week 12 Notes
Raleigh Zook
GPA 3.55

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About this Document

These notes discuss planetary atmospheres, focusing on earth's.
Introduction to the Sky and Solar System
Remy Indebebetouw
Class Notes
astronomy, Science, planet, EARTH, Atmosphere
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Raleigh Zook on Monday April 25, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ASTR 1210 at University of Virginia taught by Remy Indebebetouw in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 10 views. For similar materials see Introduction to the Sky and Solar System in Astronomy at University of Virginia.


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Date Created: 04/25/16
Planetary Atmospheres Earth Atmosphere: Layer of gas surrounding a solid world Earth’s is 10km thick which is comprised of nitrogen (mostly) and oxygen Pressure: • Depends on density and the temperature—adding and heating air increases the pressure. • Pressure and density decrease the higher up you go—each point in atmosphere is set by how much weight is pushing down on it • Pressure can be measured in pounds per square inch, bars, hectoPascals/Pascals • Altitude o “High altitude cerebral edema: brain blood vessels leak High altitude pulmonary edema: fluid in the lungs” – Directly from lecture slides o Slowly dying the higher up in altitudes… • Seasonal averages o Pressure varies in different areas of the earth § High pressure in one place and low pressure in another à Makes a wind to make it evened out…Wind dispersed to low pressure regions. More quickly the pressure is shifted, the stronger the wind § Cold air falls and increases pressure on surface—warm air rises to lower pressure o Middle of hurricane is a super low pressure (~13% pressure—lowest) • Little traces of atmosphere float off/trail off—no clear upper boundary of the earth’s atmosphere • Different types of gas have different distributions (vertically) o Surface: Nitrogen and oxygen more dominate o Higher up: Less amounts of oxygen and nitrogen, tonic oxygen, and helium Temperature and Atmospheric Layers • Not simple structure • Cooler as it goes up, but then goes back to warmer – colder - warmer – colder • Most of this is driven by interaction with light—how much energy is being put into the atmosphere at different levels o Xrays and UV light don’t go into atmosphere as well, its energy is not absorbed, it goes into the atmosphere to heat it up • Exosphere: Very highest layer before space o Atoms are capable of escaping into space o Satellites are here o Temperature rises relative to altitude • Thermosphere: 100 kilometers up o The Xrays and UV light heat and ionize the gases in this layer o Temperature continues to rise relative to altitude • Stratosphere: 10 kilometeres to 100 kilometers o Temperature rises but then halfway up it begins to decline o More molecular oxygen o Some UV wavelengths are absorbed to warm this ozone layer—Intimately tied to production and abundance of ozone (oxygen cycle)…created by sparking breaking apart the molecules • Troposphere: Bottom layer (10 kilometers and below) o Heated from the bottom up—warmed from the surface and convection’s infrared light § Re-radiates energy Mars • Pressure increases closer to surface; Closer to surface it also gets warmer • Like earth, it has some places of higher and lower pressures • Layers o Does not have oxygen (no bump in middle) o Top and bottom are hot—in between it is cooler (due to no oxygen) • Waterized and carbon dioxide clouds—different altitudes, different temperatures creating different clouds—like dry ice, colder to freeze out Venus • Temperature increases closer to its surface In comparison Earth is the only planet that has a stratosphere because the UV absorbing ozone molecules. These molecules are how humans are protected from the Sun’s ultraviolet light. Properties of Atmospheres • Heats the surface—whether with or without greenhouse gases o Temperature is determined via the absorption of the Sun’s energy and thermal radiation’s outgoing energy. • Temperature and Reflexivity o Aka albedo o Portion of the sunlight that it reflects o If a planet has less albedo, it absorbs more energy from the sun, which leads to hotter temperatures


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