Venus slowly loses some atmosphere

Venus slowly loses some atmosphere

Fig. 7.9 . Venus is as large as Earth, and it is difficult for its atmosphere to escape from the planetís gravitational pull. However, the upper part of the atmosphere on Venus is ionized by solar radiation, and the solar wind accelerates some of these ions, giving them enough energy to escape and join the wind. In this way, the solar wind interacts with the thick atmosphere, and in effect pulls some of it into space. (Courtesy of ESA.)

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University