Reports

Dissipation of Planetary Atmospheres

Science  13 Nov 1959:
Vol. 130, Issue 3385, pp. 1337-1338
DOI: 10.1126/science.130.3385.1337

Abstract

Escape-level density is approximately inversely proportional to gravity and with decreasing mass will tend toward that of interplanetary gas. When this value is reached, dissipation must cease. The minimum possible ground density of lunar air is calculated to be 10–12 that of the air at normal temperature and pressure. Ionization creates a binding electrostatic charge at the escape level.

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