Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Earth's oldest object on display

Filed under
Sci/Tech

The 4.4 billion-year-old zircon crystal, barely two human hairs wide, was brought out at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on Saturday.

The day's festivities also featured the Rock Concert, which was to include jazz from a band using rocks as percussion.

The zircon, found in Australia in 2001, led to a reappraisal of early Earth.

Analytical work by geophysicist Professor John Valley at the university in Madison, Wisconsin, showed the crystal could only have formed in a low-temperature environment.

That suggested the early Earth was much cooler than previously thought, meaning life-forming elements such as oceans were formed earlier too.

Computer beats

Saturday's accompanying music included jazz composed especially for the day to try to answer the question of what 4.4 billion years old sounds like.

Roy Nathanson, who composes for the performing New York-based Jazz Passengers, said his rock banging, jazz and computer beats would trace the crystal's origins.

"The whole thing is something that captures your imagination," he told the Associated Press news agency.

Professor Valley said: "This is our first glimpse into the earliest history of the Earth. The miraculous thing about the crystal is that we've been able to make such wide-ranging inferences about the early Earth."

The festivities also included a lecture from the man who decided the age of the crystal - Professor Simon Wilde of the Curtin University of Technology in Perth, Western Australia.

Source.

More in Tux Machines

GParted 0.20 Improves Btrfs Support

GParted 0.20.0 is out today with a release that primarily improves Btrfs support. The improved Btrfs support comes via now handling support for resizing Btrfs file-systems that span multiple devices. GParted 0.20 also has GRUB2 restoration steps added to the help manual plus various translation updates. Read more

Ubuntu Touch RTM Update Is Out, Has Better Performance and Beautiful New Indicators

Ubuntu developers had some minor problems in the week before with all sorts of bugs that were popping out. They postponed the release of a new update for the Ubuntu Touch RTM and, at one point, they even got everyone to focus on fixing the problems and nothing else. Now they have a new version out and progress really shows. Users who already have Ubuntu Touch on their phones might have noticed that the number of features added to the system have diminished drastically, but that's the way it should be. The system is getting closer to its final stages and there is little reason to add new options now. The current form of the OS is not very far from the official release, so only fixes remain to be made. Read more

Ubuntu turns 10: A look back at desktop Linux standard bearer

Tech pundits differ, to say the least, on a lot of topics in the world of free and open-source software, but it’s inarguable that Ubuntu has been the most influential Linux desktop distribution of the past decade. On the occasion of its 10th anniversary, here’s a brief look back. Read more

Forking Debian, Celebrating Ubuntu, and Best Desktops

Debian and Ubuntu dominated the headlines today with various topics. The community is is celebrating Ubuntu's 10 years and Mark Shuttleworth announced the next codename. Debian lost a contributor and released 7.7 over the weekend while the threat of a fork is pushing a freedom choice. In other news we have Gentoo and 4MLinux reviews as well as the chance to vote for the best Linux desktop environment. Read more