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Speaker's Footnotes

Relevant notes and citations provided to TED by Anjali Tripathi.

  • 00:47

    "Every minute 400 pounds of hydrogen and almost 7 pounds of helium escape from Earth into space."

    See this Scientific American article for these numbers (although given in different units) and an overview of atmospheric escape.

  • 01:09

    "The atmosphere is just these gases that form a thin blue line that's seen here from the International Space Station."

    This photograph shows the Earth's atmosphere, with the sun setting. It was taken by astronauts aboard the International Space Station on November 23, 2009. Original image here

  • 07:34

    "If we look at transiting exoplanets with the Hubble Space Telescope, we find that in the ultraviolet you see much bigger blinking, much less light from the star when the planet is passing in front"

    The first observations of mass loss were made in 2003 using the Hubble Space Telescope of a planet called HD209458b, described in this research article

  • 08:55

    "We think this is because you have an extended atmosphere of hydrogen all around the planet that's making it look puffier and thus block more of the light that you see."

    More description of this effect - how more light is blocked by the star when there's atmospheric escape - is found in this accessible article

  • 09:38

    "For these planets, you're losing 1.3 billion pounds of hydrogen every minute."

    Models of hot Jupiter mass loss, like that described in my paper finds this figure for a planet like HD209458b.