Oldest bit of Earth is a Zircon

Oldest Bit of Earth - Zircon

This 4.4 billion year-old bit of zircon is now confirmed to be the oldest piece of the Earth’s crust. Credit: John Valley

A tiny zircon crystal found by geoscience researchers in the Jack Hills region of Australia (view map) has been confirmed to be the oldest found piece of Earth. Using two methods of dating the ages of atoms inside the crystal, the team clocked the mini-gem in at 4.4 billion years old, which is just a mere 160 millions years after the formation of the solar system.

The discovery is leading to new ideas as to how the young Earth may have cooled down from a molten blob much earlier than previous understood. Leading the research was