Astrophysics (Index)About

atmosphere formation

(atmospheric formation)
(capture and modification of a planet's gases)

The study of atmosphere formation (or atmospheric formation) is of interest in astronomy to explain the observed atmospheres of bodies, and develop principles that explain the varying atmospheres including Earth's.

The gases are assumed to come from accretion of gas in the protoplanetary disk, and from outgassing of the planet's solid body, such as the gas in Earth's atmosphere expelled by volcanos. Gas can be removed or changed by chemical reactions in the atmosphere (e.g., oxidation, reactions of constituents with opposing oxidation states), by escape of gas through hydrodynamic escape or impacts, or by energy supplied by electromagnetic radiation (photoevaporation).

As the Earth cooled from its initial hot state, it is assumed the atmosphere went through a rock vapor phase and a steam phase.

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Referenced by pages:
magma ocean