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15 April 2019
Earliest life may have arisen in ponds, not oceans
Shallow bodies of water, on the order of 10 centimeters deep, could have held high concentrations of what many scientists believe to be a key ingredient for jump-starting life on Earth: nitrogen.
17 November 2015
Rotation an important factor in Earth’s evolution
Around 4.5 billion years ago, shortly after the solar system was formed, an object roughly the size of Mars smashed into Earth. The energy of this impact sheared off enough material to create the Moon and melt the young Earth’s mantle into a giant ocean of magma roughly 1,000 kilometers (approximately 621 miles) deep. This magma ocean set the stage for the evolution of the Earth’s rocky mantle and could have created Earth’s early magnetic field which shielded the planet from the solar wind and facilitated the evolution of life on Earth.
Now, a new study proposes that Earth’s rotation – previously assumed to be unimportant in the evolution of the magma ocean – could have influenced how the hot liquid rock solidified.