Why doesn't hydrogen escape the atmosphere?

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Offline Fozzie

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Why doesn't hydrogen escape the atmosphere?
« on: 05/11/2009 16:25:11 »
Simple question - If hydrogen is lighter than air and always rises in a balloon, why doesn't it all escape into space?

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Ethos

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Why doesn't hydrogen escape the atmosphere?
« Reply #1 on: 05/11/2009 18:22:41 »
Simple question - If hydrogen is lighter than air and always rises in a balloon, why doesn't it all escape into space?
Some of it does as the result of Solar wind. However, the gravity of the earth holds most of it captive. As with all gases, gravity is responsible for keeping all of them, 'oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and a host of other noble gases within our atmosphere. But the earth still loses a slight fraction of all these gases to Solar wind. The magnetosphere is the only reason we maintain our marvelous ocean of vital gases, without it the Solar wind would rip most of them off our planet.

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Offline Bored chemist

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Why doesn't hydrogen escape the atmosphere?
« Reply #2 on: 05/11/2009 18:54:58 »
There's not a lot of hydrogen in the earth's atmosphere. At least part of the reason for that is that it escapes.
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