Ionization above theF2-peak, as affected by the interplanetary gas
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The atmospheres of the earth, the sun and other bodies are surrounded by gas that is nearly uniform in number densityn and kinetic temperatureT, over spaces much greater than those occupied by the atmospheres. This gas may be called theambium of the atmosphere. In total it is much more massive than the atmosphere it encloses. The conditions in the ambium must powerfully affect the state of the outer atmosphere. In particular, there must be a continuous transition of the values ofn andT between the ambium and the atmosphere. In the case of the earth, the sun and other hot stars, both the ambium and the outermost part of the atmosphere will consist of atomic hydrogen. The temperature of the ambium will determine whether this hydrogen and that of the outermost atmosphere are mainly ionized or neutral.
The nature of the terrestrial ambium depends on the extension of the sun's atmosphere. This atmosphere is hot and highly ionized in its inner parts. At some radius not yet known, the solar atmospheric gas must become cool and neutral. The state of the earth's outermost atmosphere depends greatly on whether the earth lies in the ionized or the neutral part of the sun's atmosphere, or in the solar ambium.
Evidence will be presented favoring the view that the earth's ambium consists of ionized solar atmospheric hydrogen. If this be so, the outermost part of the earth's atmosphere is likewise hot and ionized. It must enclose an extensive layer of mainly neutral atomic hydrogen.
KeywordsHydrogen Atmosphere Atomic Hydrogen Continuous Transition Outermost Part
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