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Impacting the Hadean Earth
A new study on the effect of frequent impacts on the crust of the early Earth could help determine whether or not evidence of these violent events can still be found in the planet's geological record.
An Extinction in the Blink of an Eye
MIT researchers find that the end-Permian extinction happened in 60,000 years — much faster than earlier estimates.
Earth's Unstable Archean Crust
Earth's crust was unstable in the Archean eon and dripped down into the mantle. Model calculations indicate that the extreme density of the base of the thickened primary crust caused it to subside into Earth's mantle.
Does a Planet Need Life to Create Continents?
Earth may not have possessed the continents it does now if not for life, instead becoming a planet covered nearly entirely in ocean.
Diamonds in the Oldest Zircons are Lab Contaminants
New research finds that the 4.3 billion-year-old diamonds reported in two papers in 2007 and 2008 could actually be contaminants introduced into geological samples from Australia.
Which Ancient Minerals Helped Give Rise to Life?
A new study challenges the idea that mineral species on Earth today are much the same as they were billions of years ago when life first arose on our planet.
The Birth of Earth's Continents
Scientists have proposed a new theory for how the contents of Earth formed as a by-product of mountain-building.
Methane's Secrets, From Diamonds to Neptune
A new study is helping scientists better-understand the behavior of methane deep inside planetary interiors.
Billion-Year-Old Water Could Hold Clues to Life on Earth and Mars
Astrobiologists have discovered ancient pockets of water that have been isolated deep underground for billions of years. The water is trapped in rocks that are similar to rocks known to be on Mars, and it contains abundant chemicals known to support life.
Rethinking Early Atmospheric Oxygen
Scientists have provided new information about the relationship between oxygen in Earth's early atmosphere and the sulfur cycle. The study could shed light on how oxygen accumulated in Earth's atmosphere - an event that had profound implications for life on our planet.
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