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Unlike, say, Mars's or Venus's, Earth's atmosphere was thought to be untouchable inside our protective magnetic field. But a new study says the sun is slowly "stealing" our atmosphere—and at a greater rate than on Mars or Venus.
At the current rate, our present atmospheric inventory can last at least until the sun—midway through its life now—turns into a red giant and engulfs Earth, Russell said.
"At that point," he said, "the loss of atmosphere becomes moot."