SEA4Task5 - Earths Early Atmosphere Formation How the...

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Earth’s Early Atmosphere Formation How the Earth’s atmosphere was formed billions of years ago is a source of great speculation among the scientific community. Continuing scientific exploration is needed to ascertain exactly how the atmosphere formed prior to one billion years ago (Upper atmosphere, 2008). Generally, scientists speculate that the atmosphere formed as follows. When Earth was first formed, the atmosphere contained mostly hydrogen and helium. These elements were the remainders of the formation of the solar system. According to accretion theory, the more dense material formed at the center of the Earth and the less dense material, the hydrogen and helium, accumulated around the more dense material. This stage of the formation of the atmosphere is called differentiation. This primitive atmosphere was only tenuously held around Earth. Heat from the still molten surface and heat and radiation from the Sun eventually blew away the helium and hydrogen into space (Comparing earth’s atmosphere). The “blowing away” of the helium and hydrogen atmosphere left a void that was later filled by heavier elements. The source of those heavy elements is the exact same today as it was billions of
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This note was uploaded on 12/06/2010 for the course SEA SEA4 taught by Professor Unknown during the Fall '09 term at Western Governors.

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SEA4Task5 - Earths Early Atmosphere Formation How the...

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