During the years of the formation of the Earth, the planet was covered with a blanket of magma, which caused an incredibly toxic atmosphere. At the time, scientists believed that our home planet was more similar to Venus – a toxic atmosphere with temperatures exceeding 400 degrees Celsius. A new study examining the history of our planet and the process it went through, making it a haven for life today.
When earth-like rocks begin to form, they go through a process called ‘accretion’.
This is where the small particles begin to come together, and eventually, their gravity is enough to pull them to the larger clumps.
These tiny objects are called ‘planetesimals’ and are similar to asteroids.
As they grow, they become ‘planetary embryos’.
In the final stages of accretion, when large bodies are pulled in, large rocks affect the early planets, which emit large amounts of energy.
The final accretion impact occurred when a Mars-sized body crashed into Earth, causing most of the early planet to melt.
This melting point leaves the Earth in a blanket called the “Magma Ocean”, which releases hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen gases, creating the Earth’s first atmosphere.
According to a new study, these early atmospheres contained hydrogen (H₂), ammonia (NH₃), and carbon monoxide (CO) gases.
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“At 97% CO ₂ and 3% N അന്ത, the atmosphere would be 70 times more than the current atmospheric pressure. Talk about a greenhouse effect!”
The team was interested in understanding how Earth cools, while Venus went through a similar process when it formed.
According to a study published in the journal Science Advances, the answer is far from clear.
Burnham continued: “The N ratio of CO₂ is similar to that of Venus today.
“If so, why does Venus, not Earth, maintain the warm and toxic atmosphere we observe today?”
“The answer is that Venus was very close to the Sun. It never cooled to form oceans of water.
“Instead, the H₂O in the atmosphere remained as water vapor and was slowly but inevitably lost in space.
“In the early days of the Earth, the oceans reacted slowly and slowly, releasing CO from the atmosphere.
“So, although the two planets started out almost identically, different distances from the Sun lead them in different paths.
“Earth became more conducive to life and Venus became uninhabitable.”