You don"t need to go to a museum to discover really, really old things. Plain rocks, because that example, might be millions or billions of years old, and also are complimentary for the taking. But rocks you"re likely find along a nature trace or highway space mere infants compared to the earliest rocks top top Earth.
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Geologists categorize rocks into three simple types, relying on their origin. Igneous rocks are formed by the cooling and solidification the magma (molten absent in Earth"s crust ) top top or near the surface. Sedimentary rocks, such as sandstone, are created by the compression that sediment or particles. Metamorphic rocks are developed when existing igneous or sedimentary rocks are fused with each other by high heat and also pressure.
Finding the earliest rocks in the people is a harder task than it can seem. Earth"s late is a dynamic system and also is always in motion, for this reason rocks are continually being relocated around, created and melted down in the great geological recycling program. The earliest rocks on earth can it is in very daunting to find and also verify, but the youngest rocks are simple to locate: look for the nearest energetic volcano.
The oldest totality rocks found so far day back around 4.28 exchange rate years. Lock were discovered in 2001 through geologists excavating near Canada"s Hudson bay in northern Quebec, andthe research showed up in the Sept. 25, 2008, concern of the journal Science.
The oldest geological material ever found, which space not technically rocks, are mineral grains referred to as zircons found in western Australia, which date back about 4.36 exchange rate years.
Technically, the oldest known rocks currently on earth are no from planet at all, however are instead of extraterrestrial beginning . Moon absent samples gathered during the Apollo missions have been dated to about 4.5 exchange rate years, besting our earliest terrestrial rocks through a couple of hundred million years.
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Benjamin Radford is the negative Science columnist for Live Science. That covers pseudoscience, psychology, urban legends and also the scientific research behind "unexplained" or mysterious phenomenon. Ben has a master"s degree in education and a bachelor"s level in psychology. He is deputy editor of skeptical Inquirer science magazine and also has written, edited or added to more than 20 books, including "Scientific Paranormal Investigation: just how to fix Unexplained Mysteries,""Tracking the Chupacabra: The Vampire Beast in Fact, Fiction, and Folklore" and “Investigating Ghosts: The clinical Search because that Spirits,” the end in fall 2017. His website is www.BenjaminRadford.com.