Venus stripped of oxygen and oceans

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brian livesey
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Venus stripped of oxygen and oceans

Post by brian livesey »

After measuring the rate at which ions are escaping Venus's gravitational field, scientists suspect that a very strong "electric wind" has stripped the planet of its atmosphere and oceans. Scientists have known that oxygen ions are escaping Venus, but recent measurements show that the rate of escape, over millions of years, account for the loss of oceans on the planet. Surface temperatures of 460C turned the oceans into steam. Sunlight in Venus's atmosphere breaks up the water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen, and the planet's powerful electric field accelerates the oxygen ions to such high speeds that they are whipped out into space.
"It's amazing and shocking. We never dreamt an electric wind could be so powerful that it can suck oxygen right out of the atmosphere into space," said Glyn Collinson, of Nasa's Goddard Space flight Center. The research was published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
Professor Andrew Coates of Nasa said: "We found that 100 metric tonnes per year escapes from Venus by this mechanism - significant over billions of years. The new result here is that the electric field powering this escape is surprisingly strong at Venus compared to the other planets. This will help us understand how this universal process works."
Last edited by brian livesey on Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:07 pm, edited 3 times in total.
brian
Cliff
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Re: Venus stripped

Post by Cliff »

Dear Brian
"This will help us understand how this universal process works" ?????
Count me out Brian, I'm still not much wiser myself.
I can't decide whether this is because I'm just thick or because science is getting too specialised - and eventually no one will be able to make use out of it (?). But I suppose arguably some clever devil may do !
Best wishes from Cliff PS - I notice that you included a "smiley" with your post.
stella
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Re: Venus stripped

Post by stella »

Andrew Coates is from Mullard Space Science Laboratories, NOT Nasa.
brian livesey
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Re: Venus stripped

Post by brian livesey »

Thanks Stella. I took the information from a press article, although not verbatim.
brian
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