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Thread: Does a planet loose mass over an extremely long period of time?

  1. #1 Does a planet loose mass over an extremely long period of time? 
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    Does a planet loose mass over an extremely long period of time?

    Correct me if Im wrong but isnt a planet a large mass of matter, gravity creates pressure, the pressure creates some heat at the center (at least a little even in old/cold planets? right?)

    so if the energy created by the pressure radiates does it loose mass and in trillions of years will planets kind of evaporate into infrared energy? (I guess until they become smaller, moon sized/large asteroid sized?)

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  3. #2  
    Bullshit Intolerant PhDemon's Avatar
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    Feb 2013
    Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK
    Not my area of expertise but if you are talking about evaporation the key questions are... What is the temperature at the surface? What is the vapour pressure of stuff the planet is made of at this temperature? Once it is vaporised will it stay in the gas phase or recondense in the atmosphere and fall back to the surface? There are probably other factors but these are the ones that leap to my mind...

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  4. #3  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope sculptor's Avatar
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    Apr 2012
    (wild guess du jour)
    This planet seems to be constantly gaining mass. We get energy and plasma from the sun, and we get almost constant inflow of meteorites, water, and comet dust.

    As previously stated by PhD, "Not my area of expertise".
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  5. #4  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Oct 2011
    The Earth both loses and gains mass through a variety of mechanisms: several tons of space dust falling onto the planet everyday, gasses being lost from the atmosphere, losing energy by cooling the core, gaining energy from global warming ...

    This article attempts to calculate the overall effects: BBC News - Who, What, Why: Is the Earth getting lighter?
    ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat
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