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

Today in Techrights

today's leftovers

Kernel Space: Linux, Graphics

Leftovers: Software

  • Introducing Stremio, a More Complete and Powerful Popcorn Time Alternative
    Stremio is an application built with Electron that streams and plays movies, TV shows, Youtube channels, and TV channels, from torrents. Sounds familiar?
  • mt-st project new homepage
    A short public notice: mt-st project new homepage at https://github.com/iustin/mt-st. Feel free to forward your distribution-specific patches for upstream integration!
  • letsencrypt support in propellor
    I'm using the reference letsencrypt client. While I've seen complaints that it has a lot of dependencies and is too complicated, it seemed to only need to pull in a few packages, and use only a few megabytes of disk space, and it has fewer options than ls does. So seems fine. (Although it would be nice to have some alternatives packaged in Debian.)
  • New release: usbguard-0.4
    I’m not dead yet. And the project is still alive too. It’s been a while since the last release, so it’s time to do another. The biggest improvements were made to the rule language by introducing the rule conditions and to the CLI by introducing a new command, usbguard, for interacting with a running USBGuard daemon instance and for generating initial policies.
  • The Improvements To GNOME's Nautilus 3.20 FIle Manager
  • Nautilus 3.20 Will Be a Major Upgrade, Here's What's New
    A new GNOME major upgrade is on its way, and it will ship with Nautilus 3.20. One of the developers working on it has presented some of the major features that will land.