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Why is there oxygen within the earth’s atmosphere?

Why is there oxygen within the earth’s atmosphere and not up in space?
Collis School Yr 6 from Surrey (age 5-14)

How did oxygen first come to Earth?
Charlie Hughes from Swansea (age 5-14)

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2 Responses

  1. Oxygen is part of our atmosphere, together with nitrogen, water vapour, carbon dioxide, etc. The atmosphere is kept around the earth because it has weight and the gravity of the earth attracts it. There is only enough air in the atmosphere to make it around 100 or 200km thick, but the air gets thinner and thinner as you go up, until it vanishes completely above that height, then you are in what we call space. That is all the air there is.

  2. As the atmosphere thins out as you go higher. The only constituant that leaves into outer space is Hydrogen. This is due to Jeans Effect. Besides space rockets only hydrogen is light enough and energetic enough to escape earths gravity.
    You might be interested to know that the temperature at the upper atmosphere at the poles is -35 degrees centigrade while at the equator it is -75. Sets up some interresting circulation paterns, The poles being so much warmer.

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