Hot hydrogen in the atmosphere

1/5/2017 (Jan. 5) – A study of data from NASA’s Thermosphere, Ionosphere, Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics mission indicated the presence of a significant population of hot hydrogen atoms at altitudes as low as 170 miles, much lower than previously expected. “This result suggests that current atmospheric models are missing some key physics that impacts many different studies, ranging from atmospheric escape to the thermal structure of the upper atmosphere,” says Lara Waldrop, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Illinois and a co-author on the study.