But the morning was rescued by an article in Scientific American. I was reading through the mental haze, looking at an article on the process of planetary atmospheric escape. Aside from the molecular-level mechanism, impactors can rip out a plume of gases. The illustration is captioned:
When a comet or asteroid strikes a planet, it creates an enormous explosion that throws rock, water, dinosaurs, and air into space.
If you can giggle on the way to breakfast, there's still hope for the day.