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SCI/TECH: Ancient Australian Mineral Deposits Show Early Earth Crust

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posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 07:41 PM
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Professor Stephen Majzsis of the Unversity of Colorado together with colleagues, has dug up tiny zircon crystals which appear to have been formed right after the birth of the planet. The deposits were dug up in Western Australia from sedimentary rocks at the Jack Hills which are date to nearly 4.4 billion years ago. The finding indicates that the Earth's crust was cool, much like the current day and the planet had the three necessary elements for life, water, energy and organic compounds. within the first few hundred years of it's creation.
 



www.abc.net.au
Most remnants of the very early crust, formed more than 4 billion years ago, are gone - recycled as part of the steady ongoing process known as plate tectonics.

But the little zircon crystals survived, Professor Stephen Mojzsis of the University of Colorado says

He and his colleagues say the key was a rare metal element known as hafnium.

It is found with the zircons.

"This is one of the few Earth materials that we know of that is capable of surviving recycling of the crust," he said.
Rock clues

Their composition suggested they were formed at the right temperatures for making crust and in the presence of water, the researchers report in the journal Science.

"It was thought that the (early) world looked more like a lunar blasted landscape than a water-filled world with a continental landscape," Dr Mojzsis said.


"This helps us explain how the Earth became the habitable world it is."

It also might mean that life can occur easily - if the conditions can be right so soon after a planet forms, he said.



Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Fascinating article. This discovery takes us closer and closer to the origins of this world we live in and new discoveries are now being made like this one at a rapid rate.

[edit on 17-11-2005 by Mayet]




posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 08:49 PM
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Don't tell Howard, he'll probably slap a mine in it and sell to whoever throws a coin his way.

These types of discoveries are what will eventually turn out attention to space and open up the reality of other worlds and species. The more we know about Earth and the fact it wasn't put there by God on a Friday afternoon, the sooner we'll be able to get some real knowledge of what's out there and gow long it's been visiting here. This types of news all helps edge us closer to disclosure - which religion being the biggest barrier.

I don't really know what else to say, good post.



posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 11:04 PM
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Good find Mayet. Kinda hard to get your head around something being over 4 billion years old.



posted on Nov, 18 2005 @ 08:02 AM
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I allways like to have supplementary information with these kinds of things, so here is some that I pulled up:

USGS page on Zirconium
Zircon Mineralogy
Zirconium is a mineral that very often figures into these kinds of studies and you can hear about it a heck've a lot.
Radioisotopic Dating with Zircon and the the Uranium-235/Lead-207 clock
Low-Temperature Thermochronology: Techniques, Interpretations, and Applications
Zircon (U-Th)/He Thermochronometry (pdf)

Here is some zircon crystals that contain hafnium in a hand sampl, and also a zircon sand, which can form sedimentary rocks
external imageexternal image


And here is somethign that I have allways found fascinating. Its a thin section of rock, prepared as a slide, so thin that light will readily pass through it. On the left is the rock under normal view, on the right, crossed nichols, ie viewed with polarizing filters (iow, the same stuff good sunglasses are made out of). It gets colourized like an old movie. Zircon is the squaris crystal in the center.
external imageexternal image



posted on Nov, 18 2005 @ 10:22 AM
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Very fascinating that certain components of life existed nearly 700k years before life, but since when has water become necessary for life? Another error in an ATSNN article?


[edit on 18-11-2005 by Frosty]


apc

posted on Nov, 18 2005 @ 04:59 PM
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Water is needed for life that utilizes oxygen in some fasion, either consuming or producing. Life that relies on chlorine, for example, would not require water (dihydrogen oxide) but instead be sustained by hydrogen chloride or a related compound.

A very interesting discovery indeed.




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