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4.4 Billion yr. old zircon crystal 'oldest scrap of Earth crust'

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posted on Feb, 27 2014 @ 03:00 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.

Interesting to me that a crystal is the oldest solid piece of earth, also interesting is the idea that life on earth could have existed *billions* of years ago... (!)

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.

So what do you think people? I need to get my hands on one of those crystals, just to have something 4 billion years old would be a trip, I'd probably stare at it all day haha.

Hope this hasn't been posted yet (couldn't find it, but that hasn't stopped me from double posting thread topics unwittingly before), anyways, all feedback welcome.


posted on Feb, 27 2014 @ 03:13 AM
reply to post by Runciter33


Though they should say ''oldest found'' as there are probably many other crystals and parts of the Earth's crust much older that have not been found or analysed yet and might never be due to their location.
edit on 27-2-2014 by theabsolutetruth because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 27 2014 @ 03:21 AM
reply to post by theabsolutetruth

also the crust renew all the time.

This have been posted a few times op

posted on Feb, 27 2014 @ 04:02 AM
reply to post by Runciter33

Look out for the "Mini-Museum", as soon as it starts getting sold. Kickstart

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