Sunday, January 3, 2010

Oldest rocks on earth discovered

Once upon a time-- less than 100 years ago!-- most people, scientists included, believed that the universe was eternal and infinite.  It took Edwin Hubble's discovery that the universe was expanding for scientists to run the clock backwards and realize that the universe had to have a beginning-- now estimated to be about 13.7 billion years ago.

Our solar system, including the earth, was created about 4.5 billion years ago.  Although most of the original crust of the earth has long since been mashed up in the process of plate tectonics, last year scientists found what are believed to be the oldest rocks on earth on the shores of Northern Quebec, almost as old as the earth itself-- about 4.28 billion years.  Science Daily.

But here's what I love to think about:  ten percent of the atoms in our body are hydrogen, created at the moment of the Big Bang, and the rest of the elements in our body were created by the explosion of stars, many before our solar system was even formed.

We are older than the earth.

1 comment:

MoonRaven said...

Indeed. And as you say, the elements in our bodies were formed in stars and sent into space as they exploded. Joni Mitchell was right: "We are stardust..."