Alien Skies: Planetary Atmospheres from Earth to Exoplanets - download pdf or read online

By Frédéric J. Pont

ISBN-10: 1461485533

ISBN-13: 9781461485537

ISBN-10: 1461485541

ISBN-13: 9781461485544

Planetary atmospheres are advanced and evolving entities, as mankind is swiftly coming to grasp when trying to comprehend, forecast and mitigate human-induced weather switch. within the sun approach, our neighbours Venus and Mars supply outstanding examples of 2 endpoints of planetary evolution, runaway greenhouse and lack of surroundings to space.

The number of extra-solar planets brings a much broader attitude to the difficulty: from hot "hot jupiters'' to ocean worlds, exo-atmospheres discover many configurations unknown within the sun approach, corresponding to iron clouds, silicate rains, severe plate tectonics, and steam volcanoes. Exoplanetary atmospheres have lately turn into obtainable to observations.

This e-book places our personal weather within the wider context of the rigors and tribulations of planetary atmospheres. according to state of the art examine, it makes use of a grand travel of the atmospheres of alternative planets to polish a brand new gentle on our personal surroundings, and its relation with life.

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Extra resources for Alien Skies: Planetary Atmospheres from Earth to Exoplanets

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The ocean ice caps creep out towards the tropics from both poles. With less heat to push the air around, the whole climate of the planet becomes more benign. There is no longer enough heat for hurricanes or even summer cumulus clouds to form. The stratosphere moves lower, hovering only a few kilometres above Chapter 3 – Mars 43 the surface and the only clouds left are low, thin stratus (this is the climate of Antarctica today). Two effects now amplify the drop in temperature: first, water vapour is a very strong greenhouse gas, and with most of the water frozen out of the atmosphere, Earth loses its blanket of greenhouse-effect heating and about 20 degrees worth of insulation; secondly, because snow is white and bright, a lot more sunlight now gets reflected straight back into space, rather than being absorbed by the green-brown continents or the dark blue sea.

10 Venus in real colours. Image credit: NASA Chapter 2 – Venus 35 typical ice crystals in our clouds measure hundreds of microns, and snowflakes or hail stones can be much bigger. Venus’s clouds are also more fluffy, so it is difficult to tell where they begin or end. More than anything, they are far larger than any clouds we know. The clouds of Venus extend over nearly 30 kilometres (20 miles) in height, in three different layers separated by intervals of clear air. The upper layer is a gradually thickening haze, exposed to full sunlight during the day.

Being there What would it feel like to stand on Venus? At first, it would be like standing inside a deep-sea submersible such as the Russian-designed MIR that filmed the remains of the Titanic. You need this kind of vehicle to resist the 90-bar pressure. Instead of a wrecked ship, one would be peering at a desert landscape in a reddish glow; until the heat kicked in. Then it would feel like being stuck in an oven, with uncomfortable consequences. The surface of Venus has limited touristic potential.

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Alien Skies: Planetary Atmospheres from Earth to Exoplanets by Frédéric J. Pont


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