Researchers at Curtin University have discovered evidence that could change our understanding of when Earth became habitable.
Incredibly durable crystals known as zircons, taken from the Moon during NASA’s Apollo missions, are considered one of the best isotopic clocks for dating geological processes billions of years old, and are one method used to date lunar impacts.
However, Research lead, Dr Aaron Cavosie, has found that dates from zircons on Earth usually do not record impact age, they record when the zircon crystallised from Magma. Cavosie is now questioning the reliability of this widely accepted method for dating some of the solar system’s most cataclysmic events.
This research influences our thinking about when Earth may have become habitable and will inform future sample return missions to recreate accurate impact history.
[img source] Bart van Leeuwen (CCA2.0).
The above story is based on materials provided by the Curtin University.