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Become a nitrogen atom in the nitrogen cycle in our Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit/Game. See all our games, activity kits and classroom activities.

Exploratour - The Archean Age

Earth's ocean.
Click on image for full size
Corel Photography

As the temperature started to cool down, eventually the ocean began to form. As as soon as the temperature fell to about room temperature, then rain could begin. The presence of running water influenced the rest of the gases in the atmosphere, which began to dissolve into the forming ocean.

The formation of the early ocean played a large part in shaping what gases remained in the atmosphere and what gases were carried into the water, to become dissolved into the ocean and surface reservoirs. Scientists think that the Earth's secondary atmosphere may have come to be dominated by N2 because it alone of all the gases comprising the secondary atmosphere does not readily dissolve in water.

Meanwhile, about this time, it is thought that life may have begun on Earth. The early ocean became the repository of many of the waste products of the activity of early life on Earth. Such waste products included iron in the form of pyrite. Pyrite was the result of early bacteria making food for itself along sulphur pathways.



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Learn about Earth and space science, and have fun while doing it! The games section of our online store includes a climate change card game and the Traveling Nitrogen game!

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Cool It! Game

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ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

Even though the sleeping man is no longer on the bed, you can still see where he was lying down. The heat from his body warmed up the bed sheets which are now radiating infrared light toward your eyes....more

ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

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ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

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ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

Imagine you found a pair of special glasses that not only gave you telescopic vision but gave you the ability to see all forms of radiant energy. The universe in visible light contains all the familiar...more

ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

This is a volcano on the island of Miyake in Japan. It has erupted, sending hot lava and ash into the air, a total of ten times. The time after one eruption until the next occurred was about twenty years...more

ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

The awesome power of a giant black hole was revealed by looking at this galaxy in three different types of light. The picture that you see is of Centaurus A, a very peculiar galaxy. A galaxy is just a...more

ExploraTour - Looking at the World in a Different Light

This is a plant in Gary, Indiana where power is made. We use power to run things like television sets, radios, lights, and microwave ovens. The picture looks very strange because it was taken in infrared....more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF