Earth May Have Been Formed in the Wink of an Eye, New Study Says

Posted by Chris Parker
Feb 27 2006

Earth was suitable for conceiving and developing life forms from the first moments of existence.

A team of Western researchers reject the theories about Earth being completely covered with oceans before the first marine species stepped onto the shore.

In short, the story of the discovery looks like this. A rare-earth metal hafnium combined with the crystals of zirconium was found in Jack Hills, a massif in Western Australia.

The rocks of the mountain range are considered the oldest in the world (estimated age is 4.4 billion years).

Researchers used a radioisotope analysis to find out that the continental crust had formed 4.4-4.5 billion years ago. The continental crust differs from the ocean one by its makeup and thickness. It was previously thought that the continental crust had gradually melted out of the ocean crust.

“Looks like Earth formed in the wink of an eye,” says one of the researchers, Dr. Steven Moses at the University of Colorado. “If the theory proves to be right, all today’s concepts concerning the formation of Earth will have to be completely revised.

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