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Atmospheric origi2

Atmospheric origi2 - constituents Mg Si Fe and O are the...

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Atmospheric origin To some extent explaining the origins of the the atmospheres of the terrestrial planets represents a more complex problem than the distribution of solid bodies throughout the system. The main question is, where did the volatiles come from? Primary capture from the primordial cloud? Outgassing? Cometary CLI>Outgassing? Cometary Capture? Deciding between these is complicated by the fact the current atmospheres might be the result of a long process of chemical change from the original atmospheres that were created. It is not very east to try to trace back any possibe temporal variation to the "source atmosphere". The earth's atmosphere, for example, is largely the result of biological processes, rather than the primordial
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Unformatted text preview: constituents. Mg, Si, Fe and O are the most abundant terrestrial elements. The most common elements in the primordial nebula (based on solar abundances) are H, He,C,O (H 2 O) and N. On Earth the C,N and H 2 O are 10 4 less abundant relative to Mg, Si and Fe than they were in the solar nebula. So the earth, during or since formation, lost a great deal of the volatile material from the primordial nebula. The question is, why did it not lose all in the same process? Is the atmosphere a result of the little that was left, or was this acquired later to a body that was by then volatile-free? There are a number of possible mechanisms by which we could imagine the earth (and other terrestrial planets, or satellites) acquired their atmospheres:...
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