An international team of scientists has identified the date of an Earth's smallest known mineral specimen - about 4.4 billion years, uncovering new hopes in the journey of discovery. The early period and the process of the Earth becoming a living planet.
According to research results published February 23, the Earth is thought to have formed about 4.5 billion years ago.
But the scientific community hardly has any information about the time before, especially when the Earth became cold, causing the Earth's crust to freeze and forming liquid water.
The oldest known specimen of Earth.(Source: Reuters)
Previous theories suggest that Earth's cooling process requires a period of 600 million years.
However, the discovery of zircon crystals (a mineral) in recent decades suggests that the Earth's crust was formed 4.374 billion years ago, ie 160 million years after Earth and Living planets in the Solar System formed.
This reinforces the hypothesis of a cold Earth with a temperature that is low enough to allow water, oceans and aquifers to form shortly after the Earth's crust.
From here, scientists came to the conclusion that the Earth once had an aquifer 4.3 billion years ago, although the existence time is not long.
The team used the new technology, an atomic probe microscope (APT) capable of accurately determining the age of very small mineral fragments by measuring individual lead atoms inside.
Due to its high strength, zircon can withstand billions of years of erosion and still have chemical properties and provides a lot of geological information.