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Arches National Park Geology Tour provides an extensive, visually rich description of the geology of Arches, by Deborah Ragland, Ph.D. See our DVD collection.

The Size of the Planet Matters




Mercury
(small)

Venus
(medium sized)

Jupiter
(very large)

Hydrogen (H) less than 1 hour days over the age of the Universe
Helium (He) roughly 1 day 100 times the age of the solar system over the age of the Universe
Oxygen (O) 800 million years over the age of the Universe over the age of the Universe

Scientists think that the original air of many earth-like planets drifted away, and the air they have today came out from inside the planet.

This table shows the time it takes for some of the molecules of the air to escape from a planet. The table shows that as the planets get bigger, it is harder for the molecules to escape.

The table shows that the average time for any molecules to escape from Jupiter's gravity is much too long. Therefore probably all the molecules in Jupiter's atmosphere are the same ones drawn to the planet when it was forming.


Return to atmosphere

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