May passing through the Milky Way's arms have helped form Earth's solid ground?

May passing through the Milky Way's arms have helped form Earth's solid ground?

A new study has suggested that the Earth’s journey through the Milky Way might have helped create the planet

Comets may have bombarded Earth every time the early solar system traveled through our galaxy’s spiral arms, a new study suggests. Those recurring barrages in turn helped trigger the formation of our planet’s continental crust, researchers

A new study has suggested that a series of asteroid impacts may have played a role in the formation of Earth's landmasses. The research, which was conducted by a team of scientists, provides a

The scientific community is abuzz with a new theory that explains how Earth's landmasses came to be. According to the theory, the Earth's land

Kirkland and his colleagues found that the cratons they studied had formed over a period of about 2.5 billion years. The oldest rocks were about 3.8 billion years old, and the youngest were about 1.3 billion years old. The team also found that the cratons had experienced two major periods of growth. The first began around 3.6 billion years ago and lasted for about 700 million years. The second began around 2.9 billion years ago and lasted for about

Kirkland and his colleagues found that new crust seemed to form in spurts at roughly regular intervals. “Every 200 million years, we see a pattern of more crust production,” says Kirkland, of Curtin University in Perth, Australia. The team

It's no coincidence that the Earth's orbital period around the sun - one year - is the same as the time it takes for the sun to travel once around the center of the Milky Way. That's because the sun and all the planets in the solar system are bound to the Milky Way by its gravitational pull. The Milky Way is a spiral galaxy, and as such

Spiraling into sense Researchers have proposed that our solar system’s spiral arms may be responsible for delivering comets to Earth. The idea makes sense, the researchers say, since the higher density of material in the spiral arms would have led to more gravitational tugs on the reservoir of comets at our solar system’s periphery. Some of those encounters

If you take a look back at Earth's history, you'll see that it was probably mostly covered in oceans billions of years ago. All of the comets that hit the planet delivered a lot of energy, which caused the planet's existing oceanic crust to break apart. This also created a lot of material that ended up being part of the planet's mantle. This process eventually led to the creation of continental crust.

That’s one hypothesis, but it’s far from a slam dunk, says Jesse Reimink, a geoscientist at Penn State who was not involved in the research. For starters, comet and meteorite impacts are notoriously tough to trace, especially that far back in time, he says. “There’s very few diagnostics of impacts.” And it

Kirkland and his colleagues are hoping to analyze moon rocks in the future in order to look for a pattern of crust formation. Our nearest celestial neighbor would have been hit by a similar amount of material that hit Earth, Kirkland says. This would suggest that the moon would also be subject to these periodic impact

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