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Lecture 5

Astronomy 2232F/G Lecture 5: 2232 Lecture 5-Planetary Atmosphere

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Astronomy 2232F/G
Els Peeters

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Lecture 6 Slide 1 - 4.54 billion years ago all planets had identical atmospheres o 95% H, 5% He =primary o Planet doesnt have this today - Todays atmosphere=secondary Slide 2 - Planets have very little of primary atmosphere left today - A large impact will blow out part of the atmosphere but thought to mainly be lost slowly Slide 3 - Two main ways you can get rid of an atmosphere: 1. Gravitational field strength 2. Temperature of gas Slide 4 - It takes more energy to get something off the surface of the earth than the moon - As gravity increases its harder to launch something into space Slide 6 - Plot provides prediction of gases that should be in the atmosphere of a planet o Theoretically correct - Gas giants from other solar systems can keep all their gases because its harder for things to escape - Moon cannot retain any gases - Mercury and Mars? Slide 7 - Processes in the atmosphere of Mars (chemical reactions) will destroy methane if methane is found it means it was produced recently because its composition is eventually change - This makes the plot incorrect - Methane is produced through outgases deep in surface of a planet OR through organisms - We know mars is not volcanically active and therefore methane could conclude biological activity on mars Slide 8 - Ways to provide gas to an atmosphere o Geological activity amount of outgassing, more activity =more outgassing = thicker atmosphere (i.e. Volcanism) o Burning of fossil fuels (if there is civilization that will do that) o Impact cratering o Size and mass of planet surface gravity escape velocity o Distance from sun o Living organisms change composition through waste products o Chemical reactions different molecules are created and destroyed in various environments, higher temperatures mean faster reactions Slide 10 - Dont need to know equation for calculating effect of temperature - Why is temperature higher than it should be on earth and Venus? o Mars and M
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