Could the earth have been an hydrogen gas planet early in life?
Also could the eruptions of the earths core create a situation that would have caused the hydrogen to ignite thus producing water vapor and eventually causing rain. Could that have lead to increased temperatures heating the water to produce oxygen and over the course of millions of years cause and oxygen based atmosphere?
- Bullet MagnetLv 41 decade agoFavorite Answer
I assume you mean Hydrogen atmosphere, not an actual gas planet like Jupiter.
Your hypothesis goes like this:
Hydrogen gas atmosphere.
Hydrogen gas burns with oxygen to produce water.
Water is heated and produces oxygen.
Oxygen in the atmosphere.
Far apart from the fact that heating water does not produce any more oxygen than went into it in the first place (usually just dissolved oxygen) you did not explain where the oxygen that the hydrogen gas burned in to make water in the first place.
Also, our atmosphere is Nitrogen based.
Now, yes, the early atmosphere was probably Hydrogen/Helium. This was largely lost because the Earth's gravity can not hold on to such light gases in the atmosphere for long. Later a diverse mixture of gases from volcanoes would have emerged and replaced the first atmosphere, including Carbon Dioxide, Ammonia and water.
Oxygen was primarily provided by living things, such as anaerobic prokaryotes, who find it poisonous. Thus, the very atmosphere that most life depends on today killed the life that initially created it. Since then, the balance has continues to be mainatined by living things.
- BrantLv 71 decade ago
I wouldn't be surprised if a substantial amount of water was made that way, but I believe most of it was trapped beneath the surface and was outgassed in large quantities over millions of years.
In the earth's early protoplanet stage, it was most likely a lot like Jupiter and the gases were blown away. Either that or the lighter gases were blown out of the inner solar system before the planets accreted very much, leaving mostly the elements we see today.
- Andy PLv 71 decade ago
I believe the oxygen came from plant life.
- arbiter007Lv 61 decade ago
So, Earth is composed of mostly solid, rocky materials. While it might have had hydrogen as part of its composition, it would never have been classified as a gas planet at any time of its existence.
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- eriLv 71 decade ago
No, the early solar system was even hotter than it is now. A gas giant probably wouldn't have survived this close to the Sun.