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Earth's Magnetic Field Older Than Thought

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posted on Apr, 4 2007 @ 02:44 PM

Earth's magnetic field was at least half as strong 3.2 billion years ago as it is today, researchers report.

That means the planet was pretty well protected way back then from solar output that could otherwise have stripped away the atmosphere and doused early living organisms with lethal radiation.

Tarduno had previously estimated that as far back as 2.5 billion years ago, Earth's magnetic field was just as intense as today.
The new estimate was made by using a laser to heat ancient crystals of feldspar and quartz and measuring their magnetic intensity.
The tiny grains were picked out of out of 3.2 billion-year-old granite outcroppings in South Africa.

"The data suggest that the ancient magnetic field strength was at least 50 percent of the present-day field," Tarduno said.
"This means that a magnetosphere was definitely present, sheltering the Earth 3.2 billion years ago."


This is very interesting, as it allows us to know what our planet was
like in some ways all those billions of years ago.

Comments, Opinions?

posted on Apr, 4 2007 @ 02:51 PM
There is so much we don't know about our planet and it's origins and history - not to mention our solar system.
I think that we have only just begun to scratch the surface of knowledge, and that we will never truly know the extent of the wonders of our world.

posted on Apr, 4 2007 @ 04:03 PM
What I find interesting about this article is that about 3 billion years ago, early cells might have developed a process that is much like photosynthesis we know today. It seems that energy sources composed of organic molecules might have been diminishing at this time, so other sources of energy were adapted by the cells, and their environment. Could it be that as the Earth's magnetic force increased and blocked off much of the radiation from our star, that same light was being used by cells that require photosynthesis to obtain energy? In turn to reproduce and maybe evolve? One of the by-products of photosynthesis is oxygen.


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