Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Science & Space

Oldest rock in the world proves Earth ready for life

See also

Zircon crystals from Western Australia's Jack Hills region were proposed as the oldest evidence of Earth being ready to support life in the Feb. 23, 2014, edition of the journal Nature Geoscience by an international team of researchers led by University of Wisconsin-Madison geoscience Professor John Valley.

The zircons were determined to be 4.4 billion years old. This indicates the Earth’s crust formed about 160 million years after the formation of the universe. The discovery indicates that Earth was capable of retaining water from condensation or from impact from an extraterrestrial source. Two of the necessities for life as it is known on Earth are rock and water.

The scientists used atom-probe tomography and secondary ion mass spectrometry to produce the most exact date for the zircons in the early crust sample that have ever been known. Lead isotope analysis and oxygen isotope analysis confirmed the age of the zircons in the Earth’s oldest known crust.

The research proves that Earth cooled and became habitable much earlier than was previously thought. The probable collision with Mars that formed the Earth’s Moon may have served to accelerate the cooling of the Earth’s crust from a molten state according to the researchers.

Earth was ready for life 4.4 billion years ago.

Advertisement

News

  • Al Qaeda video surfaces
    A video of an Al Qaeda meeting surfaces, concealed identities are raising suspicions
    Video
    Watch Video
  • Boston Marathon
    Boston cops shut down Boylston street after finding suspicious, unattended backpacks
    Top News
  • Death penalty for hate crime?
    Actions by the anti-Semitic gunman are being condemned by the unlikeliest of groups
    Crime News
  • New York gun control
    As many as one million New Yorkers are ready to disregard the state's new gun laws
    Headlines
  • Korean ferry capsizes
    Hundreds of passengers are missing after a ferry sinks off the South Korean coast
    World News
  • NYPD ends surveillance on Muslims
    The NYPD will end surveillance programs against Muslims in their own communities
    Video
    Watch Video

Related Videos:

  • Purchase Your Pair of Google Glass Today
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518193403" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518193403&autoStart=true"></div>
  • Camp Invention
    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/p3XUiL6YDcY?VQ=HD720&amp;autoplay=1"></iframe>
  • Stanford scientists Matthew Kanan and Christina Li have created an oxide-derived copper catalyst that converts carbon monoxide to ethanol.
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518178005" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518178005&autoStart=true"></div>

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about Examiner.com and apply today!