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Planet Earth was blue long before we knew

Planet Earth was blue long before we knew

New Scientist

Image: Kevin Gill

Earth may have become the blue planet just 200 million years after it formed, making it a welcoming home for life hundreds of millions of years earlier than we thought.

Earth’s first 600 million years are called the Hadean – for good reason. “It is traditionally seen as a period of Earth history when our hot, young planet was hellish and uninhabitable,” says Judith Coggon at the University of Bonn, Germany.

But hell may actually have been relatively short-lived. Coggon and her colleagues have found that rocks in Greenland contain a chemical signature from the mantle 4.1 billion years ago – just 400 million years after our planet was born. That signal suggests conditions at the time may have been more like they are today than we expected. Read more on newscientist.com…