Cold ions may play a significant role in deciding the direction of the ejected plasmoid. These recent simulations showed a link between plasmoids heading towards Earth and heavy oxygen ions leaking out from the ionosphere — in other words, oxygen ions may reduce and quench the reconnection rates at certain points within the magnetotail that produce tailward trajectories, thus making it more favourable at other sites that instead send them Earthwards. These results agree with existing Cluster observations.
Another recent Cluster study compared the two main atmospheric escape mechanisms Earth experiences — sporadic plumes emanating through the plasmasphere, and the steady leakage of Earth's atmosphere from the ionosphere — to see how they might contribute to the population of cold ions residing at the dayside magnetopause the magnetosphere-solar wind boundary nearest the Sun. Both escape processes appear to depend in different ways on the interplanetary magnetic field IMF , the solar magnetic field that is carried out into the Solar System by the solar wind.
This field moves through space in a spiralling pattern due to the rotation of the Sun, like water released from a lawn sprinkler. Depending on how the IMF is aligned, it can effectively cancel out part of Earth's magnetic field at the magnetopause, linking up and merging with our field and allowing the solar wind to stream in. Plumes seem to occur when the IMF is oriented southward anti-parallel to Earth's magnetic field, thus acting as mentioned above.
Conversely, leaking outflows from the ionosphere occur during northward-oriented IMF. Both processes occur more strongly when the solar wind is either denser or travelling faster thus exerting a higher dynamic pressure. This research required several years of ongoing observation, something we could only get with Cluster.
Learning more about our own atmosphere can tell us much about our planetary neighbours — we could potentially apply such research to any astrophysical object with both an atmosphere and a magnetic field. We know that planetary atmospheres play an essential role in rendering a planet habitable or lifeless, but there remain many open questions. Consider the diversity seen in the planets and moons of our Solar System, for example. In our small patch of the Universe we see extreme and opposite worlds: the smog-like carbon dioxide atmosphere of Venus, the much-depleted tenuous atmosphere of present-day Mars, the nitrogen-rich atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan, the essentially airless Jovian moon Callisto, the oxygen-bearing atmosphere of Earth.
How do we know if these planets could support life, or whether they may once have done so? Mars, for example, is thought to have once had a thick, dense atmosphere that has been considerably stripped away over time. Although the Red Planet is unlikely to be habitable today, it may well have been so in the past. Why does Earth have an atmosphere that can support life, while other planets do not? Cluster is a unique mission; it comprises four spacecraft — a format that NASA recently used for their Magnetospheric Multiscale MMS mission, launched in — which allow continuous study of Earth's magnetic field and the solar wind from multiple locations and orientations.
Cluster has been operating since , and in that time has compiled a wealth of information about our magnetic environment across various periods of solar and terrestrial activity. Zhang et al. The role of ionospheric Ooutflow in the generation of earthward propagating plasmoids, Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics DOI: Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
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Your opinions are important to us. We do not guarantee individual replies due to extremely high volume of correspondence. Every day, dust from meteorites, comets, and other 4. This meteoric dust is incredibly small, kind of like particles of smoke. But there is plenty of it. Until now, scientists didn't know how much of this cosmic dust was gathering on Earth though they know rather a lot about how much is up in space.
Researchers guessed that anywhere between 0. This is why the sky looks blue; you are seeing scattered blue light. This is also why sunsets are red. Because the Sun is close to the horizon, the Sun's rays pass through more atmosphere than normal to reach your eye. Much of the blue light has been scattered out, leaving the red light in a sunset. Different molecules absorb different wavelengths of radiation.
For example, O 2 and O 3 absorb almost all wavelengths shorter than nanometers. When a molecule absorbs a photon, it increases the energy of the molecule. This heats the atmosphere, but the atmosphere also cools by emitting radiation, as discussed below. The combined absorption spectra of the gases in the atmosphere leave "windows" of low opacity , allowing the transmission of only certain bands of light. There are also infrared and radio windows that transmit some infrared and radio waves at longer wavelengths.
For example, the radio window runs from about one centimeter to about eleven-meter waves. Emission is the opposite of absorption, it is when an object emits radiation. Objects tend to emit amounts and wavelengths of radiation depending on their " black body " emission curves, therefore hotter objects tend to emit more radiation, with shorter wavelengths.
Colder objects emit less radiation, with longer wavelengths. Because of its temperature, the atmosphere emits infrared radiation. For example, on clear nights Earth's surface cools down faster than on cloudy nights. This is because clouds H 2 O are strong absorbers and emitters of infrared radiation. This is also why it becomes colder at night at higher elevations.
The greenhouse effect is directly related to this absorption and emission effect. Some gases in the atmosphere absorb and emit infrared radiation, but do not interact with sunlight in the visible spectrum. Common examples of these are CO 2 and H 2 O. The refractive index of air is close to, but just greater than 1. Systematic variations in refractive index can lead to the bending of light rays over long optical paths.
One example is that, under some circumstances, observers onboard ships can see other vessels just over the horizon because light is refracted in the same direction as the curvature of Earth's surface. The refractive index of air depends on temperature,  giving rise to refraction effects when the temperature gradient is large.
An example of such effects is the mirage. Atmospheric circulation is the large-scale movement of air through the troposphere, and the means with ocean circulation by which heat is distributed around Earth. The large-scale structure of the atmospheric circulation varies from year to year, but the basic structure remains fairly constant because it is determined by Earth's rotation rate and the difference in solar radiation between the equator and poles.
The first atmosphere consisted of gases in the solar nebula , primarily hydrogen. There were probably simple hydrides such as those now found in the gas giants Jupiter and Saturn , notably water vapor, methane and ammonia.
Outgassing from volcanism , supplemented by gases produced during the late heavy bombardment of Earth by huge asteroids , produced the next atmosphere, consisting largely of nitrogen plus carbon dioxide and inert gases.
Water-related sediments have been found that date from as early as 3. About 3. The influence of life has to be taken into account rather soon in the history of the atmosphere, because hints of early life-forms appear as early as 3. The geological record however shows a continuous relatively warm surface during the complete early temperature record of Earth — with the exception of one cold glacial phase about 2.
In the late Archean Eon an oxygen-containing atmosphere began to develop, apparently produced by photosynthesizing cyanobacteria see Great Oxygenation Event , which have been found as stromatolite fossils from 2. The early basic carbon isotopy isotope ratio proportions strongly suggests conditions similar to the current, and that the fundamental features of the carbon cycle became established as early as 4 billion years ago.
Ancient sediments in the Gabon dating from between about 2. These fluctuations in oxygenation were likely driven by the Lomagundi carbon isotope excursion. The constant re-arrangement of continents by plate tectonics influences the long-term evolution of the atmosphere by transferring carbon dioxide to and from large continental carbonate stores.
Free oxygen did not exist in the atmosphere until about 2. Before this time, any oxygen produced by photosynthesis was consumed by oxidation of reduced materials, notably iron. Molecules of free oxygen did not start to accumulate in the atmosphere until the rate of production of oxygen began to exceed the availability of reducing materials that removed oxygen. This point signifies a shift from a reducing atmosphere to an oxidizing atmosphere. Two main processes govern changes in the atmosphere: Plants using carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and releasing oxygen, and then plants using some oxygen at night by the process of photorespiration with the remainder of the oxygen being used to breakdown adjacent organic material.
Breakdown of pyrite and volcanic eruptions release sulfur into the atmosphere, which oxidizes and hence reduces the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere. However, volcanic eruptions also release carbon dioxide, which plants can convert to oxygen. The exact cause of the variation of the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere is not known. Periods with much oxygen in the atmosphere are associated with rapid development of animals.
Air pollution is the introduction into the atmosphere of chemicals , particulate matter or biological materials that cause harm or discomfort to organisms. The scientific consensus is that the anthropogenic greenhouse gases currently accumulating in the atmosphere are the main cause of global warming. Blue light is scattered more than other wavelengths by the gases in the atmosphere, giving Earth a blue halo when seen from space. The geomagnetic storms cause displays of aurora across the atmosphere.
This image shows the Moon at the centre, with the limb of Earth near the bottom transitioning into the orange-colored troposphere. The troposphere ends abruptly at the tropopause, which appears in the image as the sharp boundary between the orange- and blue-colored atmosphere.
The silvery-blue noctilucent clouds extend far above Earth's troposphere. Earth's atmosphere backlit by the Sun in an eclipse observed from deep space onboard Apollo 12 in From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Redirected from Earths atmosphere. For other uses, see Air disambiguation. It is not to be confused with Air quality. Gas layer surrounding Earth: Mostly nitrogen, uniquely high in oxygen, with trace amounts of other molecules.
Main article: Atmospheric chemistry. Main article: Exosphere. Rhymesayers Entertainment. Archived from the original on Archived from the original on 14 February Strictly Leakage. Discography Rhymesayers Entertainment.
Categories : Hip hop discographies Discographies of American artists.The atmosphere is a mixture of nitrogen (78%), oxygen (21%), and other gases (1%) that surrounds Earth. High above the planet, the atmosphere becomes thinner until it gradually reaches space. It is divided into five flakowalabemununalarmelniggbal.co of the weather and clouds are found in the first layer.. The atmosphere is an important part of what makes Earth livable. It blocks some of the Sun's dangerous rays.