Why is earths atmosphere so hot?

Status
Not open for further replies.
J

Jamie98s

Guest
<p>They say Metors and other space debris just burns up in the earths atmosphere, but how come space shuttles dont burn up when they come in and out of earths atmosphere?</p><p>&nbsp;and why is it so incredibly hot up there? </p>
 
Q

qso1

Guest
<p><font color="#800080">They say Metors and other space debris just burns up in the earths atmosphere, but how come space shuttles dont burn up when they come in and out of earths atmosphere?&nbsp;and why is it so incredibly hot up there? Posted by Jamie98s</font></p><p>Its not that the atmosphere is so hot. Its interaction at the molecular level when high velocity objects come into the atmosphere that causes the immediatly affected areas to become hot. Meteors come in at anywhere from 25,000 mph and on up. This generates tremendous frictional heating which results in the meteor usually being completely destroyed by interaction with earths atmosphere.</p><p>Rub your hands together for a few minutes and see what friction does. Rub two sticks together to make fire. That fire is the result of friction from rubbing the sticks. Essentially the same thing happens when meteors and other unprotected space debris burn up in earths atmosphere.</p><p>The shuttle does not burn up because it is covered in thermal protection tiles, blankets and RCC (Reinforced Carbon Carbon) which was designed to protect the shuttle. A shuttle tile is so effective at heat dissipation that you can hold one in your unprotected hand only minutes after having a blow torch hit it.</p><p>You may recall, there was one shuttle that the atmosphere destroyed.</p><p>Columbia in 2003 which was destroyed as the probable result of debris impact into the wing leading edge RCC at launch. An impact hole in the wing left the shuttle unprotected which in turn, allowed atmopheric friction to do its thing which resulted in the Columbia disaster.&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
M

MeteorWayne

Guest
<p><br /><img src="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/Content/images/store/1/5/915bc94b-73db-45e1-a5f4-c85731e64dfb.Medium.jpg" alt="" /><br />It's actually quite cold up there.</p><p>Where meteors burn up (~ 100 km, 60 miles) it's -100C (-150F)</p><p>Meteors enter the atmosphere between 25,000 and 160,000 mph and are unprotected.</p><p>The shuttle orbiter enters at less than 17,000 mph and is well protected by it's design.</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
M

Mee_n_Mac

Guest
Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>They say Metors and other space debris just burns up in the earths atmosphere, but how come space shuttles dont burn up when they come in and out of earths atmosphere?&nbsp;and why is it so incredibly hot up there? <br />Posted by <strong>Jamie98s</strong></DIV><br /><br />Actually it's incredibly cold "up there" (and out of the sunlight). As QSO explained it's the high speed that creates the high temperatures although I'd say it was due more to the ram effect than frictional effect.&nbsp; The ram effect is what happens when you compress a gas. It heats up. In this case an example might be inflating a tire with a hand pump. Affect many pumps you'll notice that the cylinder is now hot.&nbsp; While some of this is due to the friction between the piston (rings) and the cylinder, most of it is from compressing the air. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>-----------------------------------------------------</p><p><font color="#ff0000">Ask not what your Forum Software can do do on you,</font></p><p><font color="#ff0000">Ask it to, please for the love of all that's Holy, <strong>STOP</strong> !</font></p> </div>
 
M

MeteorWayne

Guest
<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Thank you for the very informative answers <br />Posted by Jamie98s</DIV><br /><br />We try <img src="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/content/scripts/tinymce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-smile.gif" border="0" alt="Smile" title="Smile" /></p><p>And as you can see there's usually more than one way to express the answer. Sometimes one of us might express it in a way that makes more sense to you, even if they all say basically the same thing. It's one of the great aspects of Space.com!</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
Q

qso1

Guest
<p><font color="#800080">Thank you for the very informative answers Posted by Jamie98s</font></p><p>Thank you for asking. Its nice to know we can be of help.&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

ASK THE COMMUNITY