Scientists analyse 4.4 billion year-old piece of Earth’s crust

Well this is pretty crazy! A piece of rock dating back 4.4 billion years is one of the oldest pieces of the Earth’s crust ever found, and gives some key information on how our world became habitable.

Researchers extracted a piece of zircon (type of mineral) from a rock in Jack Hills, Australia. The little piece of data provides a look into the crystallisation of these minerals and also a thermal reading, looking into the temperature of the Earth, and how it eventually cooled down to form ocean, continents and down the line..us.

The holy zircon

The holy zircon

The team from the University of Wisconsin used a new technique atom probe tomography – the atoms inside the zircon become trapped after solidifying from lava, this radioactive uranium then slowly becomes lead, which allows for dating the atomic process. The direct date they measured was 4.374 billion years old.

During this period a lava ocean before the Earth began to cool, a meteor the size of Mars collided with our world and thus formed the moon.

For more in-depth info into the story, check out:

Archaeology News Network and National Geographic

Advertisements

One thought on “Scientists analyse 4.4 billion year-old piece of Earth’s crust

  1. Pingback: Archaeology news from the past week 28-2-’14 |

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s