Fate of a dessiccated garden world
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Author:  Agemegos [ Tue Aug 28, 2018 10:24 am ]
Post subject:  Fate of a dessiccated garden world

Suppose that there were a planet or moon that had liquid water at its surface, that life emerged there (or arrived by routine panspermia, if that's what happens), that photosynthesis evolved, and that oxygen accumulated in the atmosphere. Suppose that then the surface dried out or froze over. Maybe tidal braking turned it into a tide-locked planet and the water snowed out and formed an ice sheet on the dark side, leave the light side dry. Maybe orbital migration pulled the world to a slightly cooler orbit. Perhaps the water vapour evaporated to space in a process of Jeans escape.

What would happen to the oxygen? How long would that take?

How long can a waterless world persist with an oxygen-nitrogen atmosphere?

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