Space Game: Where in the Solar System is Destination Four? (day 3)

GAG! CHOKE! GASP! COUGH!

ABORT! ABORT! THE LANDINGS OFF!

Whoa! Destination Four wasn’t kidding about having gross air. That stuff is deadly! (see why I like to travel by internet)

The upper atmosphere isn’t so bad – that is, if you don’t mind breathing toxic fumes. Temperature and pressure wise, it’s almost nice. But don’t get comfortable. Sink just a little bit lower and the air turns to sludge. It gets thicker and heavier by the foot. Pretty soon it weighs down on you like a mountain of comet dust! And then there’s the steam. Stay away from that for sure, unless you like acid burns! Which brings me to the next little surprise Destination Four keeps hidden beneath those thick clouds. The heat! Oh my gosh, a chunk of lead sitting on the surface would melt in seconds!

The word from ESA and NASA (apparently they’re friends) is that the main reason Destination Four is such a disgusting sludge pit is that it’s air is almost all CO2. It’s like one giant greenhouse down there. On steroids!

Here’s how it works on Earth now, and then what would happen if Earth had more CO2 in the air like Destination Four.



Poor Destination Four. It just keeps getting hotter and hotter.

And another odd thing; I could swear I saw the sun rising in the west. Weird.

Note to Newcomers – For boarding instructions, click on Space Game Rules! in the menu bar at the top of the page.

About Jane Peddicord

Jane Ann Peddicord is an award winning author, lawyer, and space enthusiast. About her first book, NIGHT WONDERS, Laura Kraft of the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii wrote, “We’ve long waited for books such as these to explain, in age-appropriate language, some of the fundamental concepts that have shaken the foundation of Physics.” Jane is represented by Rosemary Stimola of the Stimola Literary Studio and likes science, space, and springer spaniels.
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2 Responses to Space Game: Where in the Solar System is Destination Four? (day 3)

  1. Bella Bear says:

    Is it gooey?

    • That’s a very good question, Bella Bear, and one that cannot be answered with a simple yes or no. Part of the problem is that I don’t know everything the NASA and ESA scientists have learned about Destination Four. But after some thought and research, my best answer is yes and no. Here is why.

      According to the American Heritage Dictionary, gooey means ‘sticky’ or ‘viscous’. The atmosphere on Destination Four is definitely viscous, which means it is thick and doesn’t flow easily. So in that sense of the word, the answer is yes, the atmosphere of Destination Four is gooey. Now we need to figure out whether it is also sticky. Since the atmosphere of Destination Four is almost entirely CO2 (Carbon Dioxide), we must find out whether CO2 is ever sticky, and if so, whether it can be sticky on Destination Four.

      CO2 comes in three forms, gas, solid, and liquid. CO2 is not sticky when it’s a gas or a solid. In its liquid form, however, CO2 sometimes is described as sticky. So far so good. The atmosphere of Destination Four could be sticky if it is ever in liquid form.

      But CO2 can turn into a liquid only when it is both under pressure (5 times greater than on Earth’s surface) and is 88 degrees F. or cooler. The atmosphere of Destination Four is much hotter than 88 degrees everywhere except the outermost edges where it meets outer space. But there, unfortunately, the pressure is not great enough to form liquid CO2.

      For these reasons, I don’t think the atmosphere of Destination Four is sticky, so in that sense of the word, it is not gooey. However, if anyone out there has more information or thoughts on this question, please write in and share them with us.

      If any of you Space Bloggers would like to know more about liquid CO2 on planet Earth, check out these sites:
      http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/explorations/04fire/logs/april10/media/eifuku_bubbles_qt320.html
      http://www.ehow.com/how_5192428_make-liquid-co.html
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide

      Thank you Bella Bear for asking this very interesting question!




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