A recent study sheds light on a new perspective on the formation of Earth and its neighboring planet Mars. Our planet is believed to have formed during violent collisions when it accumulated plenty of material from other cosmic bodies. However, until it reached the form it has today, it lost about 40 percent of this material.
Planet formation is a violent and chaotic process
Planets usually form as they collide with other neighboring planets or cosmic objects. As they clash with these objects, they gather some of their material so, the more collisions they have, the bigger the planet gets. Such a process is incredibly violent and unordered, so planets gain a lot of material, but also lose it.
When two big space objects collide, they do it at incredible speeds, which lead to certain phenomena going on around the planet. High-speed collisions produce heat and cause the material to vaporize and to create a temporary atmosphere.
However, before reaching their final stage, they are not big enough to have a serious gravitational pull. This leads to the continuous loss of this atmosphere, which seriously affect the entire material which made up the planet. Through advanced studies, scientists came to the conclusion that Earth and Mars underwent the same formation process.
Vapor loss during Earth’s formation influenced its chemical composition
Using magnesium isotopes, which react in environments similar to those primordial atmospheres, scientists established Earth lost about 40 percent its initial material during formation. Also, such a process contributed to the interesting combination of elements which form Earth. Therefore, these volatile materials resulted after such processes of vaporization.
This is the first study to show that violent planet formation can shape these volatile components present in their atmosphere. Also, losing vapor and material after the collision influences its chemical composition. This study has been published in the journal Nature.
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