Planetary Variations Interactive (83.0K)
This Interactive helps explain why Earth can retain a life-sustaining atmosphere with oxygen, but Mars cannot. Some of the same principles that apply to the Escape Velocity Interactive also apply here, like the impact of the planet’s mass. But there’s more to it with atmospheres, as surface temperature and the heaviness of the molecules also come into play. Try out some combinations of the key variables, and watch as the atmospheres evolve. You can plot multiple trials on the graph to understand what’s happening.
Three main factors determine the atmopsheric composition of a body; its own mass, the masses of its constituent gases, and its temperature. Let's look at that last factor on two worlds of almost the same sizes.
There is a marked difference in the atmopsheric compositions of the terrestrial and jovian planets. Basically, the jovians are almost nothing but atmosphere. Why?
We are now discussing "planetary variations" not just for planets orbitting the sun, but for those around other stars as well.
Three main factors determine the surface conditions on a planet; its size, mass, and distance from the Sun. Here we study how they could create a living planet elsewhere.