Do atmospheric gasses affect gravitation?

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Offline jeffreyH

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Do atmospheric gasses affect gravitation?
« on: 10/10/2014 22:09:35 »
The atmosphere has mass, is moving over time and therefore should generate gravity. What effect would this have on the earths gravitation at the surface? Can it act against the pull of the earth? I know the effect would be unmeasurable but is it there?

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Offline Bored chemist

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Re: Do atmospheric gasses affect gravitation?
« Reply #1 on: 10/10/2014 23:01:48 »
Yes.
Incidentally the atmosphere would still produce a gravitational effect if it were not moving.
However, to a good approximation, the effects of the air above us and the antipodean air would cancel out.*
So it's only the effect of "blobs" of air that make a difference.

*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shell_theorem
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Offline jeffreyH

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Re: Do atmospheric gasses affect gravitation?
« Reply #2 on: 11/10/2014 00:53:31 »
Yes.
Incidentally the atmosphere would still produce a gravitational effect if it were not moving.
However, to a good approximation, the effects of the air above us and the antipodean air would cancel out.*
So it's only the effect of "blobs" of air that make a difference.

*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shell_theorem

Thanks for the information. I looked into shell theorem a while back but not very thoroughly. It will be something I have to come back to.

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Offline PmbPhy

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Re: Do atmospheric gasses affect gravitation?
« Reply #3 on: 11/10/2014 06:16:41 »
The atmosphere has mass, is moving over time and therefore should generate gravity. What effect would this have on the earths gravitation at the surface? Can it act against the pull of the earth? I know the effect would be unmeasurable but is it there?
It has mass just like any thing else so yes. In fact you can simply think of it as part of the mass of the earth, just a much lower mass density.