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Scale Height Lab


Scale Height Lab is a parameter used to describe how something fades away with increasing distance – it is the distance over which a quantity decreases by a factor of 1/e. It is exclusively applied to planetary atmospheres in this lab, but is certainly used in many other contexts.


First time users of NAAP materials should read the NAAP Labs – General Overview page.


This lab has been designed for astronomy and physics students with some basic mathematical skills (algebraic competence, knowledge of exponential functions, and a willingness to follow along with calculus). It is NOT appropriate for introductory descriptive astronomy students. This lab was down for a while due to the retirement of a MathML server, it is now functional again.

Student Guide

Scale Height Student Guide (pdf)

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