Questions tagged [upper-atmosphere]

The upper-atmosphere is the part of earth's atmosphere that is above the homosphere (where all gases are well mixed) and starts at approximatly 100km. When asking questions specifically about the upper-atmosphere, use this tag and also include the [atmosphere] tag and [meteorology] tag if appropriate.

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Why are red auroras rare? Why do oxygen atoms (not oxygen molecules) cause auroras while molecular nitrogen cause auroras instead of atomic nitrogen?

Firstly, since there are a lot of oxygen atoms at a height of 200km, and less energy is needed to produce a red aurora than a green aurora, so it should be easier to produce red auroras than green ...
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What exactly causes this moving orange glow before sunrise?

I've been watching twilights for some time, and noticed that each time there's a very clear sky, an orange-pinkish glow is visible at the solar azimuth when Sun is somewhere between 1° and 5.5° below ...
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Is there still a hole in the ozone layer?

In the 90's, there was a hole in the ozone layer as big as Antarctica. After the Montreal protocol was created, harmful CFCs were no longer emitted and the ozone layer problem subsided. I was just ...
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Does an increase in SR lead to an increase in strength and intensity of ionospheric lightning?

As explained in the following document: ELF Electromagnetic Waves from Lightning: The Schumann Resonances Upper-Atmosphere phenomena like Sprites and Elves can be recorded with extremely low frequency ...
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Range of frequencies of the Schumann resonance?

As the surface-ionospheric gap acts as a resonator for electromagnetic waves, it should have several harmonic values from the base 7.83 Hz Schumann resonance. What is the maximum frequency for this ...
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What is the relationship between upper atmosphere phenomena and Schumann resonance?

As this Wikipedia article states in this description “... More recently, discrete Schumann resonance excitations have been linked to transient luminous events—sprites, ELVES, jets, and other upper-...
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Why is the Regener-Pfotzer maximum (radiation in upper atmosphere) above central California?

The site https://spaceweather.com/ has a section called Space Weather Balloon Data which shows the image below and says: The data points in the graph above correspond to the peak of the Regener-...
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Now Mars is pulsing 3 times per night in the UV, can anyone explain these waves in simple terms? Do these waves happen on Earth?

I link below to questions on another kind of Mars pulse) Phys.org's NASA's Maven observes Martian night sky pulsing in ultraviolet light links to the new paper Imaging of Martian Circulation Patterns ...
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Are atmospheric halogen oxides "supposed to be" in the atmosphere? Where do they come from?

I like to naively think of Earth's natural atmosphere as nitrogen, oxygen, argon, water, carbon dioxide and okay, some nitrogen and sulfur oxides, and again okay, a little hydrogen and methane from ...
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Why are atmospheric BrO and ClO important to measure by satellite?

The announcement Arianespace orbits two satellites – JCSAT-17 and GEO-KOMPSAT-2B – to support connectivity and environmental monitoring in Asia mentions GEO-KOMPSAT-2B which hosts the Geostationary ...
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Can ionospheric plasma disturbances effect the weather?

I've read about how ionospheric discharges like jets can be initiated/triggered by lightning, and how lightning can propagate upwards from clouds. What I was wondering is if this can happen in ...
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Does airglow intensity systematically change during the night?

Airglow is caused, among other factors, by recombination of atoms ionized during the day. This makes me think that during the night concentration of these ions should reduce, lowering intensity of ...
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The differences on the atmospheric transportation for various trace metal in atmosphere

I have known that the atmospheric lifetimes of chemical species were highly dependent on their physicochemical properties. For example, $SO_2$ might exist for 5-8 days, while $NO_2$ could only exist ...
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Why is the Earth's shadow blue?

After every sunset, once the sun is gone, I always enjoy seen the belt of venus rising in the other side, followed by the Earth's shadow. This is a picture I took (you will find better ones online). ...
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Photo of sprites in a clear dark sky, how is this possible?

above x2: Photos by David Finlay, from here. The BBC news article Rare 'sprites' photographed beside Southern Lights shows photographs by the Australian photographer David Finlay. They are remarkably ...
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ppmV versus μmol/mol for atmospheric CO2 - how to convert?

For a uniform mixture of ideal gases, I think that the concentration of a gas reported in parts per million by volume (ppmV) and micro-moles per mole (μmol/mol) would be the same. When I see ...
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Persistence time of ozone

Ozone is formed in the upper atmosphere by ultraviolet light, and broken down by ultraviolet, spontaneous reactions and artificial pollutants among other things. Suppose there were no artificial ...
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How would this experiment's different particle types produce atmospheric reflectivity?

The MIT Technology Review news item Harvard Scientists Moving Ahead on Plans for Atmospheric Geoengineering Experiments discusses a proposed experiment to study in a carefully controlled way the ...
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What is the characteristic time of the loss of the Earth atmosphere, how can it be calculated?

Somewhere I've read it is in the order of some tens of billions of years, but unfortunately I can't find any reference with it in Google. I suspect, the losses are coming mainly from analyzing the ...
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What are the composition and pressure of the exosphere?

I've read that the pressure and temperature are different - how different are they, and does that affect the atmosphere's composition?
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How to convert eta level to pressure level in WRF model

I am working WRF outputl file and require to extract wind and temp values at 850 hPa, 700 hPa and 500 hPa pressure levels. As the WRF vertical coordinates are based on eta level, I am having trouble ...
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Why is at high altitude more light from oxygen in the auroras while it is heavier than nitrogen?

In an other recent question is said that because of diffusion and thermal causes oxygen and nitrogen are mixed. Nevertheless oxygen is a little bit heavier than oxygen so it should be lower in the ...
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What causes the semi-annual mesospheric meteoric potassium variability?

In a recent study presented in the article First global observations of the mesospheric potassium layer (Dawkins et al. 2014), space-borne resonance fluorescence observations confirmed previous LIDAR ...
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Noctilucent clouds and anthropogenic climate change

In reading about observing noctilucent clouds, several articles about this phenomena, such as Science Daily's Spectacular 'Night-shining' Clouds Could Be A Harbinger Of Climate Change, suggest that ...
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Project Mogul: Does upper atmosphere indeed have a sound waveguide channel?

While the project was deemed a failure (see below), does the upper atmospheric acoustic waveguide exist? What are the propagation losses for low-frequency sounds? Where can one find further ...
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How much total heat is contained in the upper layers of the atmosphere?

In particular, I'm interested in the heat contained in the stratosphere, mesophere, and thermosphere.
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What factors determine the height of the turbopause?

The turbopause separates (by definition) the homosphere from the heterosphere. What factors cause the turbopause to be where it is? Is it affected by mesopheric composition, solar irradiance, global ...