Anyone have a link or direct info regarding the rate at which the Earth's atmosphere dissipates into space? I'm looking for both an estimate of the current rate as well as a model (time and mass dependencies).
Nice link but the outflow measurements that are given on that link are correlated to A Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) event, not to the regularity of any possible outlflow of atmosphere.Originally posted by Nommos Prime (Dogon)
Apparently the rate of flow/energy can be calculated from the intensity of the light from the aurora australis/borealis. See below link:
Nigel once mentioned (in "Astro and Cosmo") that the speed of the atmosphere (molecular interactive rate) at sea level, was in the "hundreds of feet per/sec/per molecule" that would be well in excess of escape velocity, so I suspect that there are other factors at work, like the thermosphere, reductionist factors, otherwise we shouldn't even have an atmoshere left!Originally posted by russ_watters
Its like evaporation - if the kinetic energy of a molecule is high enough that its velocity is above escape velocity (and it doesn't hit another molecule on its way out), it escapes. So at a given temperature you get a certain actual kinetic energy distribution and obviously, lighter molecules will be more likely to have the velocity they need to escape. Thats why there isn't much hydrogen in the atmosphere. And how do you calculate that? Uh....