Wednesday, September 28, 2022

The cosmic origin of Earth’s first continents

New research has found evidence that the first continents to form on Earth were not the result of purely geological processes, but were created by cosmic forces.

The study is the work of a team led by Chris Kirkland of Curtin University in Australia.

Kirkland and his colleagues conclude that Earth’s first continents were formed by comet impacts as our solar system weaved in and out of the Milky Way’s spiral arms orbiting the center of the Milky Way.

New research challenges the most accepted theory, that Earth’s crust was formed entirely by processes inside our planet.

Kirkland explains that detailed studies of minerals in the Earth’s crust suggest that there is a rhythm of crustal production with cycles every 200 million years, which coincide with the transit of our solar system through regions of the Milky Way galaxy. With the density corresponds in the critical phases. ,

The Solar System revolves around the center of the Milky Way, and in its orbit it passes between the spiral arms of the Milky Way.

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Artistic recreation of what Earth might have looked like in the distant past, before the formation of the first traceable continents. (Illustration: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center / Francis Reddy)

Looking at the age and isotopic signatures of minerals from both the Pilbara craton in Western Australia and the North Atlantic craton in Greenland, Kirkland and his colleagues observed similar rates of crust production, which coincided with the period in which regions of the Solar System moved through. traveled from. The galaxy is mostly populated by stars.

Passing through regions of high stellar density, some comets may have been displaced from the far reaches of the Solar System, where they congregate in great numbers, and some of them may have impacted Earth.

The number of cometary impacts on Earth would have increased significantly, causing further melting of the Earth’s surface that produced the buoyant cores of the first continents.

The study is titled “Did the Galactic Spiral Arms on the Early Earth Transit Through Seed Crust Production?”. And it has been published in the academic journal Geology. (Source: NCYT D Amazing,

Nation World News Desk
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