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31 July 2017
Acidified water draining from abandoned mines, studied primarily as a modern environmental hazard, may offer insight into the oxygenation of Earth’s early atmosphere and development of life on other planets, according to a new study.
17 November 2015
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.