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Our Planet gained oxygen-rich atmosphere.


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Our Planet.
Our Planet gained its nice, oxygen-rich atmosphere about 2.4 billion years ago.

Delays for the Earth's Oxygen Atmosphere.

Our planet gained its nice, oxygen-rich atmosphere about 2.4 billion years ago thanks to early bacteria. One question that has puzzled researchers, however, is why it took at least 300 million years for oxygen to build up to large levels, even though the bacteria had been working madly to produce it. Researchers from the University of Washington have developed a model that shows how volcanic gasses could have sucked up this available oxygen. Not only that, but a large layer of iron from meteorite strikes would have used it for rusting. Not until those sinks were filled could oxygen build up.

Heavy Bombardments Make Homes... for Microbes.

The Earth suffered a period of heavy bombardment in its early days when the solar system was swarming with asteroids. Although it would have been catastrophic for you and I, it might have actually been a nice environment for early microbes. This is according to researchers who spent time at Haughton impact crater on Devon Island, in the Canadian Arctic. They found many life-friendly features in this "ground zero", including hydrothermal vents, blasted rocks that make cosy microbe homes, and a nice, protected impact basin.

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