Earth may be 60 million years older than originally thought
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
6/12/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Scientists from France have recently announced that the Earth is around 60 million years older than originally thought. They came to this conclusion based on analysis done on ancient gases in quartz samples taken from South Africa and Australia.
New research done by scientists from France suggest that the Earth started to form 60 million years earlier than originally thought.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - For a long time, scientists thought that the Earth was formed 100 million years after the solar system began to take shape, 4.6 billion years ago. These new findings suggest that Earth's start date is closer to just 40 million years and the analysis on the isotopic signals also mean that the current estimated age of the moon is wrong.
The team analyzed xenon gas , trapped in the minerals, and were dated to 3.4 and 2.7 billion years.
This research was presented at the Goldschmidt Geochemistry Conference in Sacramento, California, by a group of geochemists from the University of Lorraine.
Trying to pinpoint a specific time is difficult with the early Earth, in part because of a lack of ancient geology from the time of the early Earth's formation. This is due to the turbulent nature of the early Earth, which was primarily in a molten state, and thus, early layers of rock and the gases trapped therein do not exist.
To get around this, scientists measure the changes in proportions of different isotopes in gases, which have survived from the early Earth, but this can only give a rough estimate.
"It's not possible to give an exact date for the formation of the Earth," said Dr. Guillaume Avice, who was one of the scientists from the University of Lorraine. "The oldest rocks of the solar system have been dated to 4,568 million years ago-so Earth is younger than that."
"What this work does is show Earth is older than we thought-by around 60 million years."
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