Blue skies, frozen water detected on Pluto

Pluto has blue skies and patches of frozen water, according to the latest data out Thursday from NASA's unmanned New Horizons probe, which made a historic flyby of the dwarf planet in July.

Planck mission steps closer to the cosmic blueprint

(PhysOrg.com) -- ESA's Planck mission has revealed that our Galaxy contains previously undiscovered islands of cold gas and a mysterious haze of microwaves. These results give scientists new treasure to mine and take them ...

Study estimates 100,000 deaths from Indonesia haze

Indonesian forest fires that choked a swath of Southeast Asia with a smoky haze for weeks last year may have caused more than 100,000 deaths, according to new research that will add to pressure on Indonesia's government to ...

A multilayer haze system on Saturn's hexagon

A rich variety of meteorological phenomena takes place in the extensive hydrogen atmosphere of Saturn, a world about 10 times the size of the Earth. They help us to better understand similar features in the Earth's atmosphere. ...

NASA image: Pluto's haze in bands of blue

This processed image is the highest-resolution color look yet at the haze layers in Pluto's atmosphere. Shown in approximate true color, the picture is constructed from a mosaic of four panchromatic images from the Long Range ...

Cloudy days on exoplanets may hide atmospheric water

Water is a hot topic in the study of exoplanets, including "hot Jupiters," whose masses are similar to that of Jupiter, but which are much closer to their parent star than Jupiter is to the sun. They can reach a scorching ...

Delhi's air as dirty as ever despite some reforms

(AP) -- A decade ago, plans for a metro and clean-fuel buses were hailed as New Delhi's answer to pollution. But air in the Indian capital is as dirty as ever - partly because breakneck development has brought skyrocketing ...

Pluto's hydrocarbon haze keeps dwarf planet colder than expected

The gas composition of a planet's atmosphere generally determines how much heat gets trapped in the atmosphere. For the dwarf planet Pluto, however, the predicted temperature based on the composition of its atmosphere was ...

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Haze

Haze is traditionally an atmospheric phenomenon where dust, smoke and other dry particles obscure the clarity of the sky. The World Meteorological Organization manual of codes includes a classification of horizontal obscuration into categories of fog, ice fog, steam fog, mist, haze, smoke, volcanic ash, dust, sand and snow. Sources for haze particles include farming (ploughing in dry weather), traffic, industry, and wildfires.

Seen from afar (e.g. approaching airplane) and depending upon the direction of view with respect to the sun, haze may appear brownish or bluish, while mist tends to be bluish-grey. Whereas haze often is thought of as a phenomenon of dry air, mist formation is a phenomenon of humid air. However, haze particles may act as condensation nuclei for the subsequent formation of mist droplets; such forms of haze are known as "wet haze."

In the United States and elsewhere, the term "haze" in meteorological literature generally is used to denote visibility-reducing aerosols of the wet type. Such aerosols commonly arise from complex chemical reactions that occur as sulfur dioxide gases emitted during combustion are converted into small droplets of sulfuric acid. The reactions are enhanced in the presence of sunlight, high relative humidity, and stagnant air flow. A small component of wet haze aerosols appear to be derived from compounds released by trees, such as terpenes. For all these reasons, wet haze tends to be primarily a warm-season phenomenon. Large areas of haze covering many thousands of kilometers may be produced under favorable conditions each summer.

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