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Formation and evolution of protoatmospheres

Abstract : The origin and evolution of planetary protoatmospheres in relation to the protoplanetary disk is discussed. The initial atmospheres of planets can mainly be related via two formation scenarios. If a protoplanetary core accretes mass and grows inside the gas disk, it can capture H2, He and other gases from the disk. When the gas of the disk evaporates, the core that is surrounded by the H2/He gas envelope is exposed to the high X-ray and extreme ultraviolet flux and stellar wind of the young host star. This period can be considered as the onset of atmospheric escape. It is shown that lower mass bodies accrete less gas and depending on the host stars radiation environment can therefore lose the gaseous envelope after tens or hundreds of million years. Massive cores may never get rid of their captured hydrogen envelopes and remain as sub-Neptunes, Neptunes or gas giants for their whole life time. Terrestrial planets which may have lost the captured gas envelope by thermal atmospheric escape, or which accreted after the protoplanetary nebula vanished will produce catastrophically outgassed steam atmospheres during the magma ocean solidification process. These steam atmospheres consist mainly of water and CO2 that was incorporated into the protoplanet during its accretion. Planets, which are formed in the habitable zone, solidify within several million years. In such cases the outgassed steam atmospheres cool fast, which leads to the condensation of water and the formation of liquid oceans. On the other hand, magma oceans are sustained for longer if planets form inside a critical distance, even if they outgassed a larger initial amount of water. In such cases the steam atmosphere could remain 100 million years or for even longer. Hydrodynamic atmospheric escape will then desiccate these planets during the slow solidification process.
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Contributor : Catherine Cardon Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Wednesday, September 28, 2016 - 4:59:40 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, June 25, 2022 - 10:21:53 PM



Hélène Massol, Keiko Hamano, Feng Tian, Masahiro Ikoma, Yutaka Abe, et al.. Formation and evolution of protoatmospheres. Space Science Reviews, Springer Verlag, 2016, 205 (1), pp.153-211. ⟨10.1007/s11214-016-0280-1⟩. ⟨insu-01373415⟩



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