Atmospheric pressure decreases as altitude increases. There is no visible boundary between Earth’s atmosphere and space in terms of pressure. There is no abrupt drop in pressure where space begins.
Flat-Earthers assert that it is impossible for the pressurized atmosphere to meet the vacuum of space without any barrier. In reality, the pressure changes gradually. There is no sudden pressure drop between the atmosphere and space.
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The Earth retains an atmosphere because gravity pulls air particles toward the center of the Earth. Without something affecting the air —like gravity— air particles would move toward lower pressure, and Earth would lose its atmosphere.
Flat-Earthers claim that Earth should not be able to have an atmosphere because without any barrier separating Earth’s atmosphere and space, it would have been sucked by the vacuum in space. They are wrong. Gravity pulls air and allows Earth to retain an atmosphere.
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A candle gets its flame from combustion, a chemical reaction. The hydrocarbon that formed the candle reacts with oxygen, and we get carbon dioxide, water, and heat energy as the results. The oxygen is obtained from the air. If the air supply is cut off —for example by covering the candle with a glass— then the reaction will stop, and the flame goes out.
We hear flat-Earthers often claimed that it is impossible for the Sun to be in space. They said the Sun burns, and therefore it requires oxygen. Space is empty, so it is impossible for the Sun to be there. They are wrong. The reaction that is occurring in the Sun is not combustion. It works differently from what happens with the candle.
Nuclear fusion powers the Sun. It fuses hydrogen atoms into helium atoms. All the necessary component for the reaction to happen is in the Sun, and the reaction doesn’t require matters from external sources.
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If we walk by pushing our feet against the ground, birds fly by flapping their wings against the air, and fish swim by pushing their fins against water; then how can possibly a rocket move in a vacuum?
Rockets are able to move in space by making use of the law of nature described in the Newton’s laws of motion, and the law of conservation of momentum.
Continue reading “How Rocket Engines Work in A Vacuum”