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Earth’s atmosphere once as toxic as Venus, researchers say, after melting floating marbles with lasers for study
The early atmosphere of our planet was as toxic as that of present-day Venus, as gases escaped from a magma ocean during Earth's development, scientists have found, after melting hovering marbles with lasers for their research.
According to scientists, an object the size of Mars likely crashed into young Earth in an impact that released enough energy to melt down the early planet’s entire mantle – the layer between the core and crust – turning it into magma.
This mammoth event would have stripped most of Earth’s then-atmosphere, to be replaced by a new one, dominated by carbon dioxide and with little nitrogen - much like the atmospheric composition of Venus today, and similar to Mars.