by Andrei Burke
June 13, 2014
from UltraCulture Website
A team of Harvard scientists
believe the remnants of an ancient Earth,
dating to the time another planet
collided with ours to produce the moon,
may still be lodged
deep within the Earth's mantle
If you thought it was a trip to see the Earth from space, then wait until you get a load of this: A team of scientists from Harvard University believe that have found evidence that an ancient Earth exists inside the Earth.
The team believes that a previously unexplained isotopic ratio from deep within the Earth might be a signal from material from before the Earth collided with another planet-sized body, which led to the creation of the Moon.
This might be an echo of an ancient Earth that existed 4.5 billion years ago, prior to the proposed collision.
The current favored theory says that the Moon was formed 4.5 billion years ago when the Earth collided with a mass the size of Mars, dubbed "Theia."
This theory states that the heat generated by the collision would have melted the whole planet before some of the debris spun off to create the Moon.
But now, the team at Harvard, led by Associate Professor Sujoy Mukhopadhyay, believe that they've found evidence to support that only part of the Earth melted, and that an ancient part still exists within the Earth's mantle.
According to Mukhopadhyay:
The team analyzed the ratios of noble gas isotopes from deep within the Earth's mantle and compared the results to isotope ratios closer to the surface. They found that 3He to 22Ne ratio from the shallow mantle is significantly higher than the equivalent ratio deep within the mantle.
Professor Mukhopadhyay remarked:
Further evidence comes from analysis of the 129-Xenon to 120-Xenon ratio.
Material brought to the surface from the deep mantle has a lower ratio than what's normally found near the surface. Because 129-Xenon is produced by the radioactive decay of 129-Iodine, the isotopes place the formation age of the ancient section of mantle to within the first 100 million years of Earth's history.
Professor Richard Carlson of the Carnegie Institution Department of Terrestrial Magnetism stated:
The findings of the team at Harvard coincide with a German team's findings supporting the theory that the Moon was formed 4.5 billion years ago after a 'catastrophic collision' with a planet-sized mass.
Both the Harvard and German teams presented their findings to the Goldschmidt Geochemistry Conference in California this week.