What Say To A 4.4 Billion Year Old Crystal?

This is cool

(CNN) From a sheep ranch in Western Australia comes the oldest slice of Earth we know.

Scientists say they have dated an ancient crystal called a zircon to about 4.4 billion years, making it the earliest confirmed piece of the planet’s crust. The findings — the first to describe the zircon — were published in the journal Nature Geoscience on Sunday.

“This is the oldest and the best dated of all the crystals that have been reported,” said John Valley, lead study author and professor in the Department of Geoscience at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. (snip)

Our planet is thought to be about 4.5 billion years old, but the oldest fossils are about 3.5 billion years old. That doesn’t necessarily mean that no life existed before that time, but no direct evidence has been found yet.

I’ve always found it really awesome, gnarly even (hey, I grew up surfing at the beach, even if it was New Jersey) to see and touch the rock at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History that is something like 3.96 billion years old.

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2 Responses to “What Say To A 4.4 Billion Year Old Crystal?”

  1. Jeffery says:

    It’s awesome! Thanks for sharing.

  2. It’s cool, eh? Love this kind of stuff.

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