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Latest Stephen Mojzsis Stories

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2009-05-20 13:40:00

The bombardment of Earth nearly 4 billion years ago by asteroids as large as Kansas would not have had the firepower to extinguish potential early life on the planet and may even have given it a boost, says a new University of Colorado at Boulder study. Impact evidence from lunar samples, meteorites and the pockmarked surfaces of the inner planets paints a picture of a violent environment in the solar system during the Hadean Eon 4.5 to 3.8 billion years ago, particularly through a...

2007-02-07 12:50:18

Carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that has become a bane of modern society, may have saved Earth from freezing over early in the planet's history, according to the first detailed laboratory analysis of the world's oldest sedimentary rocks. Scientists have theorized for years that high concentrations of greenhouse gases could have helped Earth avoid global freezing in its youth by allowing the atmosphere to retain more heat than it lost. Now a team from the University of Chicago and the...

2005-11-17 18:40:00

By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent WASHINGTON -- 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. Most remnants of the very early crust, formed more than 4 billion years ago, are gone -- recycled as part of the steady ongoing process known as plate tectonics. But...

2005-11-17 17:23:10

A surprising new study by an international team of researchers has concluded Earth's continents most likely were in place soon after the planet was formed, overturning a long-held theory that the early planet was either moon-like or dominated by oceans. The team came to the conclusion following an analysis of a rare metal element known as hafnium in ancient minerals from the Jack Hills in Western Australia, thought to be among the oldest rocks on Earth. Hafnium is found in association with...


Word of the Day
vermicular
  • Like a worm in form or movement; vermiform; tortuous or sinuous; also, writhing or wriggling.
  • Like the track or trace of a worm; appearing as if worm-eaten; vermiculate.
  • Marked with fine, close-set, wavy or tortuous lines of color; vermiculated.
  • A form of rusticated masonry which is so wrought as to appear thickly indented with worm-tracks.
This word ultimately comes from the Latin 'vermis,' worm.
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