Appearance and Colors of the Atmosphere2

Appearance and Colors of the Atmosphere2 - Appearance and...

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Unformatted text preview: Appearance and Colors of the Atmospheres Most of the planet atmospheres reflect enough of the visible sunlight that only the upper layers of their atmospheres can be seen. Only the Earth and Mars have atmospheres transparent to most of the visible light so that we can see what lies below their atmospheres. I acknowledge that I have a visible light bias in this section---the other planet atmospheres are more transparent at other wavelengths outside of the visible band. If humans had eyes sensitive to certain parts of the infrared, we would probably say that Earth's atmosphere was a thick haze that prevented photography of the surface from space. In visible light, Venus is a bland, yellow-white planet. Venus' atmosphere is 96 percent carbon dioxide but it is the thick cloud layer of sulfuric acid droplets that reflects back about 70 percent of the sunlight and make Venus brighter than any other object in our sky besides the Moon and the Sun (in fact Venus can be seen in broad daylight if the Earth's atmosphere above you is very...
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This note was uploaded on 12/15/2011 for the course AST AST1002 taught by Professor Emilyhoward during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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Appearance and Colors of the Atmosphere2 - Appearance and...

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