Crystal Discovery Dates Back 4.4 Billion Years Ago

There is no set Birthday for the planet Earth. Scientists can only determine how old Earth is according to fossil findings. Up until recently, the oldest fossils were about 3.5 billion years old. But all that has changed now. An ancient crystal called a ‘zircon‘ was found in the northern part of Perth Australia. It has been dated to originate 4.4 billion years ago. This makes the zircon the earliest confirmed piece of planet’s crust. All along it was on a sheep ranch in Western Australia.

According to CNN, scientists say the crystal’s chemistry suggests that the temperatures on Earth 4.4 billion years ago would have supported liquid water, and therefore perhaps life. Two isotopes of an element are considered different if they contain different numbers of neutrons.

The main theory is that Earth was attacked by meteors in its early history. It took a big hit from an object the size of Mars about 4.5 billion years ago, leading to the formation of the moon. These impacts vaporized the Earth’s crust and formed a super-hot magma ocean.

The ‘zircon’ discovery report was pubished in Nature Geoscience.

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