Mercury Rotational Case Study

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Mercury Rotational Case Study

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Mercury 101 - National Geographic

A runaway greenhouse effect may have been caused by the evaporation of the surface water and subsequent rise of the levels of other greenhouse gases. Despite the harsh conditions on the surface, the atmospheric pressure and temperature at about 50 km to 65 km above the surface of the planet is nearly the same as that of the Earth, making its upper atmosphere the most Earth-like area in the Solar System , even more so than the surface of Mars. Mikhail Lomonosov was the first person to hypothesize the existence of an atmosphere on Venus, based on his observation of the transit of Venus of in a small observatory near his house in Saint Petersburg , Russia.

The atmosphere of Venus is composed of The atmosphere contains a range of compounds in small quantities, including some based on hydrogen , such as hydrogen chloride HCl and hydrogen fluoride HF. There is carbon monoxide , water vapour and atomic oxygen as well. A large amount of the planet's hydrogen is theorised to have been lost to space, [13] with the remainder being mostly bound up in sulfuric acid H 2 SO 4.

The loss of significant amounts of hydrogen is proven by a very high D —H ratio measured in the Venusian atmosphere. In there was considerable discussion regarding whether phosphine PH 3 might be present in trace amounts Venus' atmosphere. This would be noteworthy as phosphine is a potential biomarker indicating the presence of life. This was prompted by an announcement in September , that this species had been detected in trace amounts. No known abiotic source present on Venus could produce phosphine in the quantities detected. Re-analysis of data with the fixed algorithm either do not result in the detection of the phosphine [17] [18] or detected it with much lower concentration of 1 ppb.

The announcement promoted re-analysis of Pioneer Venus data which found part of chlorine and all of hydrogen sulfide spectral features are instead phosphine -related, meaning lower than thought concentration of chlorine and non-detection of hydrogen sulfide. The atmosphere is divided into a number of sections depending on altitude. The densest part of the atmosphere, the troposphere , begins at the surface and extends upwards to 65 km. The atmospheric pressure at the surface of Venus is about 92 times that of the Earth, similar to the pressure found m 3, ft below the surface of the ocean. The atmosphere has a mass of 4.

This supercritical carbon dioxide forms a kind of sea that covers the entire surface of Venus. This sea of supercritical carbon dioxide transfers heat very efficiently, buffering the temperature changes between night and day which last 56 terrestrial days. The thick troposphere also makes the difference in temperature between the day and night side small, even though the slow retrograde rotation of the planet causes a single solar day to last The surface of Venus spends At a height of 50 km the atmospheric pressure is approximately equal to that at the surface of Earth.

The altitude of the troposphere most similar to Earth is near the tropopause—the boundary between troposphere and mesosphere. It is located slightly above 50 km. The circulation in Venus's troposphere follows the so-called cyclostrophic flow. In contrast, the circulation in the Earth's atmosphere is governed by the geostrophic balance. They are retrograde in the sense that they blow in the direction of the retrograde rotation of the planet. Such strong cloud-top winds cause a phenomenon known as the super-rotation of the atmosphere. All winds on Venus are ultimately driven by convection.

Such an almost-planetwide overturning of the troposphere is called Hadley circulation. The clouds lie at 70—72 km altitude in the collars—about 5 km higher than at the poles and low latitudes. Odd structures known as polar vortices lie within the cold polar collars. Each vortex has two "eyes"—the centres of rotation, which are connected by distinct S-shaped cloud structures. Such double eyed structures are also called polar dipoles. The observations in the various infrared atmospheric windows indicate that the anticyclonic circulation observed near the poles penetrates as deep as to 50 km altitude, i.

The first vortex on Venus was discovered at the north pole by the Pioneer Venus mission in Images from the Akatsuki orbiter revealed something similar to jet stream winds in the low and middle cloud region, which extends from 45 to 60 kilometers in altitude. The wind speed maximized near the equator. The mesosphere of Venus extends from 65 km to km in height, and the thermosphere begins at approximately km, eventually reaching the upper limit of the atmosphere exosphere at about to km. The mesosphere of Venus can be divided into two layers: the lower one between 62—73 km [34] and the upper one between 73—95 km.

This layer coincides with the upper cloud deck. It is even called a cryosphere. The circulation patterns in the upper mesosphere and thermosphere of Venus are completely different from those in the lower atmosphere. The downwelling over the nightside causes adiabatic heating of the air, which forms a warm layer in the nightside mesosphere at the altitudes 90— km. This radiation from the altitude range 90— km is often observed from the ground and spacecraft. The Venus Express probe has shown through stellar occultation that the atmospheric haze extends much further up on the night side than the day side.

On the day side the cloud deck has a thickness of 20 km and extends up to about 65 km, whereas on the night side the cloud deck in the form of a thick haze reaches up to 90 km in altitude—well into mesosphere, continuing even further to km as a more transparent haze. Venus has an extended ionosphere located at altitudes — km. The high levels of the ionization are maintained only over the dayside of the planet. Over the nightside the concentration of the electrons is almost zero. The plasma flow appears to be sufficient to maintain the nightside ionosphere at or near the observed median level of ion densities.

Venus is known not to have a magnetic field. Venus only has an induced magnetosphere formed by the Sun's magnetic field carried by the solar wind. The induced magnetosphere of Venus has a bow shock , magnetosheath , magnetopause and magnetotail with the current sheet. At the subsolar point the bow shock stands km 0. This distance was measured in near the solar activity minimum.

Between the magnetopause and ionopause there exists a magnetic barrier—a local enhancement of the magnetic field, which prevents the solar plasma from penetrating deeper into the Venusian atmosphere, at least near solar activity minimum. The magnetic field in the barrier reaches up to 40 nT. It is the most active part of the Venusian magnetosphere. There are reconnection events and particle acceleration in the tail.

The energies of electrons and ions in the magnetotail are around eV and eV respectively. Due to the lack of the intrinsic magnetic field on Venus, the solar wind penetrates relatively deep into the planetary exosphere and causes substantial atmosphere loss. The ratio of hydrogen to oxygen losses is around 2 i. This high reflectivity potentially enables any probe exploring the cloud tops sufficient solar energy such that solar cells can be fitted anywhere on the craft. The cloud cover is such that typical surface light levels are similar to a partly cloudy day on Earth, around — lux. The equivalent visibility is about three kilometers, but this will likely vary with the wind conditions.

Little to no solar energy could conceivably be collected by solar panels on a surface probe. In fact, due to the thick, highly reflective cloud cover, the total solar energy received by the surface of the planet is less than that of the Earth, despite its proximity to the Sun. Sulfuric acid is produced in the upper atmosphere by the Sun's photochemical action on carbon dioxide , sulfur dioxide , and water vapour. Monatomic oxygen is highly reactive; when it reacts with sulfur dioxide, a trace component of the Venusian atmosphere, the result is sulfur trioxide , which can combine with water vapour, another trace component of Venus's atmosphere, to yield sulfuric acid.

Surface level humidity is less than 0. In a prominent bright spot in the atmosphere was noted by an amateur astronomer and photographed by Venus Express. Its cause is currently unknown, with surface volcanism advanced as a possible explanation. The clouds of Venus may be capable of producing lightning , [53] but the debate is ongoing, with volcanic lightning and sprites also under discussion. According to the whistler observations, the lightning rate is at least half of that on Earth, [53] but this is incompatible with data from the JAXA Akatsuki spacecraft which indicate a very low flash rate. The mechanism generating lightning on Venus, if present, remains unknown. Whilst the sulfuric acid cloud droplets can become charged, the atmosphere may be too electrically conductive for the charge to be sustained, preventing lightning.

Throughout the s, it was thought that the cause of the night-side glow " ashen glow " on Venus was lightning. Due to the harsh conditions on the surface, little of the planet has been explored; in addition to the fact that life as currently understood may not necessarily be the same in other parts of the universe, the extent of the tenacity of life on Earth itself has not yet been shown. Creatures known as extremophiles exist on Earth, preferring extreme habitats. Thermophiles and hyperthermophiles thrive at temperatures reaching above the boiling point of water, acidophiles thrive at a pH level of 3 or below, polyextremophiles can survive a varied number of extreme conditions, and many other types of extremophiles exist on Earth.

However, the lower temperature of the cloud tops means that life could plausibly exist there, the same way that bacteria have been found living and reproducing in clouds on Earth. Microbes in the thick, cloudy atmosphere could be protected from solar radiation by the sulfur compounds in the air. The Venusian atmosphere has been found to be sufficiently out of equilibrium as to require further investigation. The first two gases react with each other, implying that something must produce them.

Carbonyl sulfide is difficult to produce inorganically, but it is present in the Venusian atmosphere. It has been proposed that microbes at this level could be soaking up ultraviolet light from the Sun as a source of energy, which could be a possible explanation for the "unknown UV absorber" seen as dark patches on UV images of the planet. In September , research studies led by Cardiff University using the James Clerk Maxwell and ALMA radio telescopes noted the detection of phosphine in Venus's atmosphere that was not linked to any known abiotic method of production present, or possible under Venusian conditions.

It is extremely hard to make, and the chemistry in the Venusian clouds should destroy the molecules before they could accumulate to the observed amounts. If your computer's clock shows a date before 1 Jan , the browser will automatically forget the cookie. To fix this, set the correct time and date on your computer. You have installed an application that monitors or blocks cookies from being set. You must disable the application while logging in or check with your system administrator. Why Does this Site Require Cookies? What Gets Stored in a Cookie? This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By continuing to use the site, you are accepting our use of cookies. Read the ACS privacy policy. Recently Viewed. The solution whose conductance is to be measured is taken in a special type of cell known as conductivity as conductivity cell.

The electrodes consist of platinum discs coated with finely divided platinum black and welded to platinum wires fused in two glass tubes. The glass tubes contain mercury and are finely fixed in the cover of cells. Contact with the platinum is made by dipping the copper wires of the circuit in the mercury contained in the tubes. As the conductivity changes with temperature, the cell is usually placed in a constant temperature bath during the experiment. Cells with along paths are used for concentrated solution and cells with sort paths and large electrodes are used for dilute solutions. Since the electrodes are not exactly 1 unit apart and may not possess a surface area of 1 square unit, the measured resistance does not give the specific conductance of the solution.

Actual measurements of l and a being inconvenient, an indirect method is employed to determine the value of which is a constant quantity for a particular cell and is known as cell constant. The resistance of cell, i. The standard values of specific conductance of KCl solutions of various concentrations at different temperature are known. Thus, the cell constant is calculated by using the above equation. The sane cell constant applies to a measurement with any other solution. The determination of specific conductance of an electrolytic solution, thus, consists of two steps:.

Determination of cell constant by using a standard KCl solution of known concentration in the conductivity cell. Determination of resistance of he given solution using the same cell. The reciprocal of this gives the value of conductance. Multiplication of conductance and cell constant gives the value of specific conductance of the solution. In order to determine equivalent conductance or molar conductance, the concentration of the experimental solution should be known. In conductance measurements, the solutions are always prepared in conductivity water which has no conductance due to dissolved impurities. It is prepared by distilling a number of times the distilled water to which a little KMnO 4 and KOH have been added in a hard glass distillation assembly.

Such water has very low conductance of the order of 4. For ordinary purposes, double distilled water may be used. This is due to the fact that degree of ionization increases with dilution thereby increasing the total number of ions in solution. Solution which contains large number of ions compared to another solution of the same concentration at the same temperature has more conductance and is said to be stronger electrolyte. The one which has relatively small number of ions is called a weak electrolyte.

The number of ions from an electrolyte depends on the degree of dissociation. The curve shows the variation of the equivalent conductance of some electrolytes with dilution. It shows that electrolytes behave in two ways o dilution. Electrolytes like KCl have high value of conductance even at low concentration and there is no rapid increase in their equivalent conductance on dilution. Such electrolytes are termed strong electrolytes. In the case of strong electrolytes, there is a tendency for equivalent conductance to approach a limiting value when the concentration approaches zero.

When the whole of the electrolyte has ionized, further addition of the water does not bring any change in the value of equivalent conductance. This stage is called infinite dilution.

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