Latest Jack Hills Stories
The first 500 million years after the Earth formed is a period known as the Hadean. Until recently, it was believed that this time in Earth's history was hellacious. A new study reveals that this assumption may be false and that the early Earth may have been surprisingly similar to present day.
Researchers, publishing a paper in the journal Nature Geoscience, say a rock in Australia is helping to paint a picture of how our planet became habitable 4.4 billion years ago.
As is well known, the Earth is about 4.6 billion years old. No rocks exist, however, that are older than about 3.8 billion years.
A recent study has shown that tiny slivers of diamond forged on an infant Earth may contain the earliest traces of life, 500 million years earlier than previously believed.
A new analysis of ancient minerals called zircons suggests that a harsh climate may have scoured and possibly even destroyed the surface of the Earth's earliest continents.
Tiny zircon crystals dug up from ancient Australian deposits appear to have been formed right after the birth of the planet -- a finding that suggests that early on, Earth had a cool crust much like today's that could have harbored life, scientists said on Thursday.
Research funded partly by NASA has confirmed the existence of liquid water on the Earth's surface more than 4 billion years ago. Scientists have found that the Earth had formed patterns of crust formation, erosion and sediment recycling as early as 4.35 billion years ago.
Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Australian National University have found new evidence that environmental conditions on early Earth, within 200 million years of solar system formation, were characterized by liquid-water oceans and continental crust similar to those of the present day. The researchers developed a new thermometer that made the discovery possible.
- To swell, as grain or wood with water.