Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/25/2014 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

At 4.4 BILLION years of age, fragment gives clue to what ancient Earth was like

A beautiful blue fragment of crystal has been declared by researchers as the oldest surviving piece of mineral evidence currently known on Earth. At a staggering 4.4 billion years of age, scientists are now examining the shard to find out what ancient earth was like.

The zircon study has helped portray how the Earth's crust formed during the first geologic eon of the planet. The fragment could also help shed light on how other habitable planets would form.

The zircon study has helped portray how the Earth's crust formed during the first geologic eon of the planet. The fragment could also help shed light on how other habitable planets would form.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/25/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Zircon, mineral, prehistory, formation, planet Earth


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic online) - Extracted from a rock on a sheep ranch in Western Australia, the crystal is helping scientists discover how Earth became able to support life.

So far, the study on the microscopic fragment strengthens the theory of "a cool early Earth" where temperatures were low enough for liquid water. It implies that oceans and other bodies of water came a lot sooner than previously thought, after the planet's crust congealed from a sea of molten rock.

Light up the darkness -- by going here --

The zircon study has helped portray how the Earth's crust formed during the first geologic eon of the planet. The fragment could also help shed light on how other habitable planets would form.

Geoscientists have confirmed that the Earth's crust formed at least 4.4 billion years ago, just 160 million years after the formation of our solar system.

The crystal "confirms our view of how the Earth cooled and became habitable," geologist John Valley at the University of Wisconsin-Madison says. The evidence has brought a conclusion that the Earth was not as harsh a place as scientists previously thought.


Scientists have previously found zircon fragments in sandstone rock, but have not revealed the exact type of rock where they found the "new" sample.

Valley thinks that the study of the zircon crystal has helped depict how the Earth's crust formed during the first geologic eon of the planet.

"This may also help us understand how other habitable planets would form," he added.

A few grains of zircon discovered in sandstone rock in Western Australia in the 1990s dated back between 4.2 billion and 4.3 billion years. This renders the - ahem, "new" as being at least 100,000 years older.

A team of international scientists led by Valley used lead isotopes to date the Australian zircons and identify them as the oldest bits of the Earth's crust, as well as the oldest known material of any kind formed on Earth.

"The study reinforces our conclusion that Earth had a hydrosphere before 4.3 billion years ago," and possibly life not long after, he said.

Using a new technique called atom-probe tomography; scientists also used a tried-and-tested ion mass spectrometry, which allowed the scientists to accurately establish the age and thermal history of the zircon by determining the mass of individual atoms of lead in the sample.

Pope Francis calls for your 'prayer and action'...

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for April 2016
Universal:
Small Farmers: That small farmers may receive a just reward for their precious labor.
Evangelization: African Christians: That Christians in Africa may give witness to love and faith in Jesus Christ amid political-religious conflicts.



Comments


More Technology

Chinese invent robots that can beat humans at soccer Watch

Image of Chinese robots are now beating humans at their own game.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Earlier this year, a robot beat a master player at the ancient game of Go. Now, robots are beating humans at soccer. Armies of engineers are working around the world to develop artificial intelligence and robots that can do what humans do, only better. They're making ... continue reading


Top Secret Area 51 on fire - film footage captures mysterious mushroom cloud, armed security at base Watch

Image of What just happened in the secretive Area 51?

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

UFO watchers have spotted a mysterious mushroom-shaped cloud over Area 51. The cause of the cloud remains unknown, but it is evidently connected to a fire at the secret military base. Viewers were unable to obtain direct footage of whatever caused the inferno, due to ... continue reading


AI shoots to kill: Will robots rule the world? Watch

Image of Researchers believe Artificial Intelligence can lead to the extinction of all humanity (Terminator 2).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

After Microsoft's failure with AI teen "Tay," it should come as no surprise that more and more researchers are agreeing artificial intelligence requires a delicate balance between helpful tech and murderous exterminators. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According ... continue reading


New machine about to replace ALL fast food workers -- and why that's awesome! Watch

Image of Several companies are developing machines and robots that can replace legions of low-wage, low-skilled workers. The cost savings would be tremendous. It would also be of benefit to the workers themselves, a least in the long run.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Fast food workers, say goodbye to that grimy job with surly guests and overbearing managers. Your fight for $15 is over. No, you didn't win, someone has invented a machine that makes hamburgers better and faster than you do. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - ... continue reading


Extraordinary life-changing surgery allows paralyzed man to regain body control Watch

Image of Chip implant helps paralyzed man move arm and even play guitar (Screenshot/Ohio State University).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Ian Burkhart underwent experimental brain surgery to help scientists pioneer technology aimed at reanimating paralyzed limbs - and it worked! LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Six years ago, Burkhart severed his spine when he went for a swim and was slammed into a ... continue reading


Would you eat a pizza delivered by a robot? Customers in New Zealand already can... How will this affect you? Watch

Image of Within a few years, your pizza may be delivered by robot.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Robots will soon begin to deliver your mail, pizza, and other parcels within the next few years. Plans are being developed around the globe to test, then roll out automated delivery systems for everything from packages, to mail to pizza. The rising demand for delivered ... continue reading


Singapore tech shames Google - Here's why we're all looking forward to it! Watch

Image of Singapore is home to the most advanced autonomous car (asiawebdirect).

By Monique Crawford (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

After securing $3.6 million to fund an up-and-coming piece of technology, an MIT-spinoff company based in Singapore shames Google's driverless car. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - With news of self-driving taxis popping up across the internet, it should come as no ... continue reading


Cannibalism: What lengths would YOU take to survive? Watch

Image of The fight has moved from the physical to the digital (cstins12/YouTube).

By Monique Crawford (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Time is money and money is everything. It pays for your home, food, technology, education, transit and basic needs - but what happens when your time no longer brings in the money? What would you resort to if you knew you would starve? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading


How to see the green Comet 252P Watch

Image of Observers will see comet 252P as a faint green fuzzy patch. Naked eye viewing from a suburban or urban area may be virtually impossible. Observers will want a dark sky location, binoculars are recommended. Stargazers will need to look south about 90 minutes before dawn.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A pair of green comets have zipped frightfully close to Earth, and it may be possible to catch a glimpse of one from your backyard. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Astronomers were caught by surprise when they detected a new comet on January 22 using the ... continue reading


Astronomers discover galaxies so bright, they break the scale used to measure them Watch

Image of Astronomers have discovered galaxies that are three times brighter than they should be.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Astronomers have discovered the brightest galaxies yet, shinning so brightly, they do not even fall on a scale they use to measure luminosity. The discovery could help refine their understanding of the nature of the early universe and how galaxies formed. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


All Technology News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 15:22-31
22 Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 57:8-9, 10-12
8 Awake, my glory, awake, lyre and harp, that I may awake the ... Read More

Gospel, John 15:12-17
12 This is my commandment: love one another, as I have loved ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 29th, 2016 Image

St. Catherine of Siena
April 29: St. Catherine of Siena was born during the ... Read More