I was reminded recently of a moment in the Eragon books where the main characters see a "tall" mountain range, and then after a minute realize that the white sky stretching up above them is just mountains too, covered in snow. Which got me wondering - if there was a mountain that reached to space, obviously there would be some point above which snow would not accumulate. Where would this be?

Thoughts: I know most of the Earth's moisture is in the troposphere, so it seems reasonable to assume it would be confined to that region - but higher clouds like nacreous and noctilucent clouds are made of ice crystals, which could conceivably deposit on a mountain. Or would this be rare enough that it would sublimate faster than it could accumulate?

  • $\begingroup$ If you analyze it from the perspective of cloud microphysics clouds do contain ice crystals as you mention in your question. So conceivably any high mountain could contain snow including Mt. Everest at the highest point.AFAIK only nimbostratus and cumilonimbus are involved in actual precipitation. $\endgroup$ – gansub Mar 23 at 1:49
  • $\begingroup$ @gansub I'm thinking from the point of view of a fictional mountain several times higher than mount Everest. Clouds have never been observed above 55 kilometers altitude, so obviously there would be a second "snow line" there if not before. $\endgroup$ – Skyler Mar 25 at 13:53
  • $\begingroup$ we do not handle world building questions here. $\endgroup$ – gansub Mar 25 at 13:56

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.