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Name: james albee
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Date: 1993 - 1999


Question:
We are a group of ninth grade students using the internet to ask questions o scientisists. Why do things "Burn up" in the atmosphere?


Replies:
The short simple answer is: air resistance. I assume you're referring to 'things' like meteorites and old satellites. These have speeds of over 10,000 MPH, and when they enter the Earth's upper atmosphere, they experience frictional forces with the air molecules, which, in turn, generates vast amounts of heat. In everyday life we don't usually associate friction with heat but remember the old Boy Scout (and indigenous peoples') trick of rubbing two sticks together to make fire.

Hawley



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