Scientists Have Discovered Piece of Earth They Think Is Oldest Ever Found

Scientists Have Discovered Piece of Earth They Think is Oldest Ever Found

Scientists have discovered a piece of earth that they say is the oldest that has ever been found. The researcher were working in the western part of Australia and stumbled upon a section of zircon which is believed to date back to at least 4.4 billion years ago. The small shard is now being officially called the oldest piece of Earth which has ever been discovered.

The numerous scientists who were involved with the research study, penned in Nature Geoscience that this particular section of zircon was created inside the Earth’s crust just shortly, at least geographically speaking, after the crust itself was formed. The Earth itself was produced about 4.5 billion years ago but at that time was a liquefied sphere of rock for the very first part of its initial history. Minerals such as zircon were unable to form until the Earth’s crust was produced, and life most definitely was unable to exist on such a planet. The globe was so inhabitable that geologists have started to call that period the Hadean era, which has been named after Hades, who was the Greek god that ruled the underworld.

The small portion of zircon proposes that the Earth’s crust just might have come into form somewhat earlier than what have been formerly believed. It could have even been produced about 160 million years after the solar system itself was formed. Zircon has always been known as the most dependable natural timepiece that has been available for human beings to be able to look back at the very beginning history of early Earth. It has uranium inside it, which permits scientists to be able to date it fairly accurately. The researchers used two various techniques of dating processes in order to be able to validate that this sliver of zircon was actually in fact only around 100 million years younger than the age of the Earth.

John Valley, who is a scientist at The University of Wisconsin, stated that the age of the zircon even means that life might actually have started to form even earlier on Earth as well.  There is no evidence that life was present at that time but there is also no evidence that life did not exist either. After finding this rock, there is absolutely no reason to believe why some kind of life might not have been here existing on the Earth 4.3 billion years ago. Scientists now have something new to begin looking for. It is very exciting and the zircon find is truly amazing.

The specific portion of zircon that was discovered is only about twice the thickness of a human hair. Scientists are very used to testing shards of zircon which are that tiny, particularly from that area in Australia where it was discovered. The place is known as the Jack Hills district and has been internationally known for having extremely old bits of zircon. So with that piece of information, scientists have released information to the public that they have discovered a piece of Earth that they believe is the oldest that has ever been found.

By Kimberly Ruble

Sources:

The Times

CNET News

USA Today

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