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Atmosphere Escape via Non

Atmosphere Escape via Non - Atmosphere Escape via...

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Atmosphere Escape via Non-Thermal Processes The processes described above occur from the heating of the atoms and molecules in an atmosphere to the point where they can escape the planet's gravity. They are called thermal processes. Other ways involve the presence or lack of a magnetic field and asteroid or comet impacts. Ions are atoms that have an extra charge (usually by losing an electron). Ions will spiral around magnetic field lines so a planet's magnetic field (discussed more in a later section ) will have a lot of ions trapped in it. When a fast-moving hydrogen ion (a proton) bumps into a neutral atom it can steal an electron to become a neutral atom that is not trapped by the magnetic field and it escapes the planet's gravity. This is called charge-exchange. Some of the magnetic field lines are so wide that they get stretched out by the high-speed stream of ions from the Sun called solar wind. The stretched out lines do not loop back and just open out into interplanetary space.
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