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Where did the atmosphere come from?
Answered by Discovery Channel
  • Discovery Channel

    Discovery Channel

  1. Scientists don't claim to know exactly what created the Earth's atmosphere, but the prevailing theory is that it was formed billions of years ago when it escaped from within the forming Earth; as the planet formed, massive amounts of gases were released. However, the Earth's early atmosphere would have been entirely inhospitable, composed of gases that would kill a human if inhaled, and lacking in any actual oxygen. Scientists believe that the advent of unicellular life in the Earth's oceans produced free oxygen and, over millions of years, contributed to the atmosphere developing into what it is today.

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