Ever wonder how we came to have our own oceans and atmospheres?
Well, let's find out. . .
What Was Early Earth Like?
Early Earth was originally molten with no atmospheres or oceans. Earth did not even contain any liquid water! Earth was hot because of continuous impacts by asteroids and meteors.
How Did Oceans Form?
Carbonaceous chondrites are meteorites that collided with Earth, vaporizing on impact. They contained carbon, water, ammonia, dirt, dust, and small amounts of organic matter. Since the carbonaceous chondrites contained water, this resulted in Earth's oceans, but not the massive oceans we see today! Eventually, Earth cooled, water vapor condensed out, and rain began to fall onto Earth's surface, forming larger oceans.
How Did Atmospheres Form?
Over time, atmospheres developed from volcanic gases from within Earth and from gases released when meteorites collided with Earth.
Volcanic eruptions released water vapor, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and ammonia into the air that helped create Earth's early atmosphere. This is known as outgassing.
Where Did Carbon Dioxide, Nitrogen, Water Vapor, Water, and Oxygen Come From?
-Carbon Dioxide, nitrogen, and water vapor came from volcanoes releasing them into the air, known as outgassing. -Water came from comets, asteroids, and carbonaceous chondrites that contained frozen water, which vaporized on impact. But rain began to fall when Earth cooled and water vapor condensed out. -Oxygen came from cyanobacteria, which are photosynthesizing microbes that exhale oxygen.
What Happened to All These Things?
-Carbon dioxide dissolved in liquid water. As it rained, carbon dioxide came down with water. -Since nitrogen does not react chemically with very many things, it grew over long periods of time. It is inert, or unreactive and stable. -Water vapor condensed out, making rain fall. -The water we use today is the same water that formed during Earth's early stages. -The oxygen we breathe today is the same oxygen as well.