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Friday, May 13, 2016

The oldest crystals formed from an Asteroid

Some pieces of the oldest rocks on Earth have been discovered, and named Zircon crystals. The researchers also found that the old stones are formed in the crater of which came from the asteroid at the time of the initial formation of the planet. The Zircon crystals are older than 4 billion years, while the Earth itself has an age of 4.5 billion years. And this ancient crystal is arguably in the history of planet Earth.

Fifteen years ago, the first crystal had been made the headlines when the research going into the rock formations that revealed the presence of water on the surface of the Earth after the planet formed. Since the study was published, scientists hope the Zircon crystals can give another answers about the history of this planet. 
A zircon crystal from the Sudbury crater pictured through an electron microscope. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1aBlQO)
Previously, the scientists believed that Zircon crystals formed when tectonic plates collide, in a process similar to the disorder that creates the mountains, volcanic activity and earthquakes. However, most researchers believe, the stone was originated of tectonic plates about 3 billion years ago. Thus, Zircon crystals formed about 1 billion years before the tectonic plates can create the stones.

In a recent study conducted by Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, the investigators pursuing the hypothesis that crystals formed in the crater that was created when an asteroid hit the Earth. To test their idea, then the researchers collected the Zircon crystals from Sudbury crater in Ontario, Canada, which have confirmed the second oldest on Earth nearly two billion years old.

"What we found was quite surprising. Many people think the zircon crystals are very old-fashioned not possibly have been formed in the crater, but now we know they may choose," said Gavin Kenny, a researcher from Trinity College Dublin and co-author of the study, as reported by LiveScience on Friday, May 6, 2016.

The impact of this asteroid is made Earth's crust to melt and form a lava lake. Most of the area around the crater heated and starting to cold, on condition that allows the Zircon undergone a process of crystallization.

"Our new findings would fill more than what we know about the Earth," said Kenny further. By determining the origin of the crystals will help the scientists gather how the planet was form in the beginning and how the life began to emerge on the Earth. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | LIVESCIENCE]
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