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Atmosphere and oceans. The ages of the Earth

Atmosphere and oceans. The ages of the Earth


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In this image we can see a natural formation of basalt columns. These formations were relatively frequent millions of years ago. The temperature contrast between the inner layers of the Earth and its surface was very strong. The rocks solidified very quickly, some crystallized and sometimes formed landscapes like this. That temperature contrast was the key in the formation of the atmosphere and the oceans.

4.5 billion years ago, high temperatures inside the Earth caused lighter materials to emerge to the surface in the form of gases. The Earth's gravity captured these gases, which enveloped the planet and formed the atmosphere.

The primitive atmosphere had no oxygen. It was basically composed of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, methane, ammonia and water vapor. The atmosphere similar to the current one is only 1,000 million years old.

The oceans and seas began to form 3.9 billion years ago. The earth's crust had cooled. All the water vapor accumulated in the atmosphere condensed and began to fall in the form of rain. The formation of the oceans was a long process, the result of a rain of millions of years that ended up covering three quarters of our planet.

Some scientists believe that part of the water that formed our oceans comes from comet impacts. But so far there is no proof to confirm it.

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Album: Photos of the Earth and the Moon Gallery: The ages of the Earth