Maybe Someday is not your typical romance but I promise you, it is one of the most deeply passionate and uniquely beautiful books I have ever read.
But what's more amazing is what you can't see, because what we know now is that around every star or almost every star, there's a planet, or probably a few. So what this picture isn't showing you are all the planets that we know about out there in space. But when we think about planets, we tend to think of faraway things that are very different from our own.
But here we are on a planet, and there are so many things that are amazing about Earth that we're searching far and wide to find things that are like that.
And when we're searching, we're finding amazing things. But I want to tell you about an amazing thing here on Earth. And that is that every minute, pounds of hydrogen and almost seven pounds of helium escape from Earth into space. And this is gas that is going off and never coming back.
So hydrogen, helium and many other things make up what's known as the Earth's atmosphere. The atmosphere is just these gases that form a thin blue line that's seen here from the International Space Station, a photograph that some astronauts took.
And this tenuous veneer around our planet is what allows life to flourish. It protects our planet from too many impacts, from meteorites and the like. And it's such an amazing phenomenon that the fact that it's disappearing should frighten you, at least a little bit.
So this process is something that I study and it's called atmospheric escape. So atmospheric escape is not specific to planet Earth. It's part of what it means to be a planet, if you ask me, because planets, not just here on Earth but throughout the universe, can undergo atmospheric escape. And the way it happens actually tells us about planets themselves.
Because when you think about the solar system, you might think about this picture here. And you would say, well, there are eight planets, maybe nine.
So for those of you who are stressed by this picture, I will add somebody for you. Laughter Courtesy of New Horizons, we're including Pluto.
And the thing here is, for the purposes of this talk and atmospheric escape, Pluto is a planet in my mind, in the same way that planets around other stars that we can't see are also planets.
So fundamental characteristics of planets include the fact that they are bodies that are bound together by gravity. So it's a lot of material just stuck together with this attractive force.
And these bodies are so big and have so much gravity. That's why they're round. So when you look at all of these, including Pluto, they're round. So you can see that gravity is really at play here. But another fundamental characteristic about planets is what you don't see here, and that's the star, the Sun, that all of the planets in the solar system are orbiting around.
And that's fundamentally driving atmospheric escape. The reason that fundamentally stars drive atmospheric escape from planets is because stars offer planets particles and light and heat that can cause the atmospheres to go away. So if you think of a hot-air balloon, or you look at this picture of lanterns in Thailand at a festival, you can see that hot air can propel gasses upward.
And if you have enough energy and heating, which our Sun does, that gas, which is so light and only bound by gravity, it can escape into space."We Shall Overcome" is a gospel song which became a protest song and a key anthem of the Civil Rights Movement.
The song is most commonly attributed as being lyrically descended from "I'll Overcome Some Day", a hymn by Charles Albert Tindley that was first published in The modern version of the song was first said to have been sung by tobacco workers led by Lucille Simmons during a Once again, Colleen Hoover has delivered an emotionally charged masterpiece that will capture your heart!
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