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'...

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for DECEMBER 2016
Universal:
End to Child-Soldiers: That the scandal of child-soldiers may be eliminated the world over.
Evangelization: Europe: That the peoples of Europe may rediscover the beauty, goodness, and truth of the Gospel which gives joy and hope to life.



Comments


More Technology

Would you ride this rocket? Space X nails rocket launch -- and landing on a barge in the ocean Watch

Image of Space X launches a rocket from Vandenburg AFB in California.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Space X faced a crucial flight of their Falcon 9 rocket on Saturday and they managed to turn in a successful launch. The rocket was launched from Vandenburg Air Force Base on the California Central coast, then it landed on a barge floating in the Pacific with an ... continue reading


NASA to study an asteroid that may destroy the Earth -- without even coming close Watch

Image of Asteroid Psyche is thought to be composed of precious metals.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

It's a staple of science fiction. An asteroid is on a collision course with Earth, so NASA sends a ragtag crew of astronauts to intervene, thus saving humanity. But in reality, the odds are even better that NASA could destroy the Earth, by sending a crew to an asteroid ... continue reading


It's time to STOP PLAYING GOD: Scienists say they are ready to create a baby using TWO MEN Watch

Image of What happens when men play God? Nothing good.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Mad scientists are real and they are working hard to play God, suggesting they may now be able to create a baby from two men, and no women. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - British scientists say they can now make babies using skin cells from two men. Other ... continue reading


NASA has a plan, to make a plan, to save you from killer asteroids Watch

Image of The launch of OSIRIS-REx to Bennu is NASA's first attempt to intercept an asteroid. The craft arrives in the fall of 2018.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Since the 1990s, the public has been regaled with tales of what would happen if Earth were in the sights of a killer asteroid. In every story, the world is saved by brave astronauts who commit their lives to saving humanity. But is that how the story is likely to go? ... continue reading


Is a new star of Bethlehem about to appear in the sky? Astronomers say new star will appear in 2022 in the constellation of the NORTHERN CROSS Watch

Image of A new star will appear in the sky in 2022 in the constellation of Cygnus, which is also known as the Northern Cross.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A new star is about to appear in the sky in the constellation of the Northern Cross. Scientists are predicting the appearance of a new star in our night sky in the year 2022. What does the appearance of this new star mean? LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) -- ... continue reading


What's a spoon doing on Mars? Better yet, what are TWO spoons doing on Mars and HOW did they get there? Watch

Image of What's this spoon doing on Mars?

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

What is a spoon doing on Mars? It's an excellent question given NASA has now found two such objects on the Red Planet. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) -- In the future, astronauts may enjoy a pint of their favorite ice cream on Mars. And it appears they won't have ... continue reading


Forget nuclear weapons, here's the REAL DANGER keeping experts awake at night Watch

Image of Biological weapons are possibly a greater threat than nuclear weapons.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Air raid sirens warn the residents of Tel Aviv that a rocket is inbound, fired from terrorist positions across the border. Residents deftly take cover, not knowing where it will land. It comes down in a residential neighborhood, then nothing happens... LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Scientists create antimatter in the lab at CERN, then they blasted it with a laser. Here's what happened Watch

Image of The particle accelerator at CERN can capture traces of subatomic particles when atoms are smashed together at nearly the speed of light.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Scientists have developed a new way to study elusive anti-matter directly, using lasers. The discovery could pave the way for new experiments and help to answer an important question about the universe. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) -- At the creation of the ... continue reading


Cosmic water witching: Scientists discover water on Ceres Watch

Image of A false-color image of dwarf planet Ceres. Scientists have just confirmed the presence of water on the dwarf planet.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Cosmic water witching. That's one way to think of the search for water on distant bodies in the Solar System. New research now confirms the dwarf planet Ceres has water stored as ice on the surface, with a great deal more likely beneath the surface. The discovery is ... continue reading


Bible VR gives inside look to the ACTUAL site of Jesus' miraculous birth Watch

Image of Come look at the Nativity.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Join virtual tour guide Danny Herman, known as "Danny the Digger," as you take a 360-degree look through one of the holiest sites on earth. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the Sancuary of Bethlehem, their virtual tour will go from simple images to an ... 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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 8:23--9:3
23 For is not everything dark as night for a country in distress? As the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 27:1, 4, 13-14
1 [Of David] Yahweh is my light and my salvation, whom should I fear? ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 4:12-23
12 Hearing that John had been arrested he withdrew to ... Read More

Reading 2, First Corinthians 1:10-13, 17
10 Brothers, I urge you, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, not to ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for January 22nd, 2017 Image

St. Vincent Pallotti
January 22: St. Vincent Pallotti, Priest (Feast - January 22) ... Read More