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Atmosphere loss from solar wind, ESA observations with Mars and Venus Express
imipak
post Mar 6 2008, 11:51 PM
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I was stumbling about esa.int in the vain search for some sign of live streaming coverage of the Jules Verne launch on Sunday when I came across this beautiful and hypnotic movie, showing the top layers of the atmosphere being blown away by the solar wind.


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RJG
post Mar 6 2008, 11:58 PM
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The following from an email alert. It should be possible to sign up for these alerts somewhere on the web site.

Live coverage is normally pretty good, starting 20mins before lift off.....



THE ARIANE 5 "ES" LAUNCHER LIFT-OFF for this flight is scheduled during the night of March 8 to 9, 2008 at exactly:

UTC: 4:03 am on March 9, 2008.
PARIS: 5:03 am on March 9, 2008.
KOUROU: 1:03 am on March 9, 2008.
MOSCOW: 7:03 am on March 9, 2008.


Follow the launch live on the internet:
http://www.videocorner.tv/index.php?langue=en




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charborob
post Mar 7 2008, 06:46 PM
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QUOTE (imipak @ Mar 6 2008, 06:51 PM) *
I was stumbling about esa.int in the vain search for some sign of live streaming coverage of the Jules Verne launch on Sunday when I came across this beautiful and hypnotic movie, showing the top layers of the atmosphere being blown away by the solar wind.


Do we have an idea at what rate Venus is losing its atmosphere? Kilograms per second? Tons per second?
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tanjent
post Mar 8 2008, 02:37 PM
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I believe the "movie" is a simulation, or else how could an actual time-lapse study reproduce the same vantage point and phase angle for repeated exposures? It is indeed pretty, though. Do we have any idea what the time scale is supposed to be? What do you suppose is driving the pulsating effect? Is this supposed to represent the effect of the sun's rotation repeatedly bringing a "hot spot" to bear on the planet?

Anyway, the CO2 atmospheres of both Mars and Venus do lack the lighter gases, particularly nitrogen and water vapor, retained by the Earth. I guess this simulation makes pretty clear how that happened.
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Greg Hullender
post Mar 8 2008, 06:36 PM
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Note, however, that Venus has about 4x as much Nitrogen in it's atmosphere as Earth does. As a percentage, yes, it's a lot lower, but because Venus has such a thick atmosphere, it still works out to much more Nitrogren in toto. In fact, unless I've missed a decimal point somewhere, Venus even has twice as much water vapor as Earth does.

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