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Crystal is 'oldest scrap of Earth crust'

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posted on Feb, 24 2014 @ 08:16 AM

A tiny 4.4-billion-year-old crystal has been confirmed as the oldest fragment of Earth's crust.

The zircon was found in sandstone in the Jack Hills region of Western Australia.

Scientists dated the crystal by studying its uranium and lead atoms. The former decays into the latter very slowly over time and can be used like a clock.

The finding has been reported in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Its implication is that Earth had formed a solid crust much sooner after its formation 4.6 billion years ago than was previously thought, and very quickly following the great collision with a Mars-sized body that is thought to have produced the Moon just a few tens of millions of years after that. Before this time, Earth would have been a seething ball of molten magma.

But knowledge that its surface hardened so early raises the tantalising prospect that our world became ready to host life very early in its history.

"This confirms our view of how the Earth cooled and became habitable," said lead author Prof John Valley, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, US.

"We have no evidence that life existed then. We have no evidence that it didn't. But there is no reason why life could not have existed on Earth 4.3 billion years ago," he told the Reuters news agency.


Very interesting finds, opens possibility that life might have started earlier, but there is no evidence of life starting earlier then 1 billion year after formation of earth, according to current findings. It appears that earth crust cooled down faster then previously believed, creating conditions that scientist believed have lead to abiogenesis and start of life on earth.

posted on Feb, 24 2014 @ 08:48 AM
Oldest, so far.

4.4 billion years old is impressive, though the article wasnt as interesting as i hoped.

Its a rock! (had too)

posted on Feb, 24 2014 @ 08:58 AM
So fake diamonds may be older than real diamonds. Who'd ever think.

posted on Feb, 24 2014 @ 09:02 AM
reply to post by SuperFrog

More information on this subject can be found here…

posted on Feb, 24 2014 @ 10:35 AM
reply to post by rickymouse

Maybe diamonds are fake crystals, instead? lol

Also, maybe the Earth cooled faster because the Mars body sized object that hit Earth , and maybe created the Moon, was full of ice, at the same time bringing lots of water to our beloved planet?
edit on 24-2-2014 by NowanKenubi because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 24 2014 @ 11:58 AM

So fake diamonds may be older than real diamonds. Who'd ever think.

No... Zircon is the real thing. A genuine rock.
Cubic Zircona, is the fake, manmade version of the Zircon.

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