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Earth After the Moon Forming ImpactThe Hadean Earth is widely and enduringly pictured as a world of exuberant volcanism, exploding meteors, huge craters, infernal heat, and billowing sulfurous steams; i.e., a world of fire and brimstone punctuated with blows to the head. In the background the Moon looms gigantic in the sky. The popular image has given it a name that celebrates our mythic roots. A hot early Earth is an inevitable consequence of accretion. The Moon-forming impact ensured that Earth as we know it emerged from a fog of silicate vapor. The impact separated the volatiles from the silicates. It took -100 years to condense and rain out the bulk of the vaporized silicates, although relatively volatile elements may have remained present in the atmosphere throughout the magma ocena stage. The magma ocean lasted approx. 2 Myr, its lifetime prolonged by tidal heating and thermal blanketing by a thick (CO2-rich steam atmosphere. Water oceans condensed quickly after the mantle solidified, but for some 10-100 Myr the surface would have stayed warm (approx. 500 K) until the CO2 was removed into the mantle. Thereafter the faint young Sun suggests that a lifeless Earth would always have been evolving toward a bitterly cold ice world, but the cooling trend was frequently interrupted by volcanic or impact induced thaws.
Document ID
20060054214
Document Type
Conference Paper
Authors
Zahnle, Kevin (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2006
Subject Category
Lunar and Planetary Science and Exploration
Meeting Information
DPS Meeting(Pasadena, CA)
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.