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Jason and the Solar Winds

I was having a discussion with Jason the other night while he brushed his teeth and got ready for bed.  He noted that the North and South Poles of Earth have actual magnetic properties.  I mentioned that the Earth’s magnetic field is generated by its molten core, and that it’s existence is probably what keeps our atmosphere from being ripped away by solar winds.  In fact, some experts believe that when the core of Mars cooled, its magnetic field disappeared, causing a loss of atmosphere in just this way.

As I tucked him into bed, Jason said, “Solar winds would blow our house away easily, then.”  I asked, “You think so?” and he answered, “Yes, because scientists estimate the weight of the atmosphere is 5,630 trillion tons, so if solar winds blew that away, they’d blow our house like a quadrillion miles into the Universe”

“You’re probably right,” I conceded, and said goodnight.  And that’s why I’m giving up trying to impress my 7-year-old with science trivia.

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