(ORDO NEWS) — An international team of geologists has unveiled a new study that points to a link between the appearance of continents on Earth and our planet’s passage through the arms of the Milky Way. It was her cyclical path, according to the authors of the work, that helped form solid ground.
Researchers suggest that Earth’s journey through the Milky Way may have helped create the first continents on our planet. Let us explain that every 200 million years the solar system passes through the spiral arm of the Milky Way.
This sleeve is a kind of space barrier. A new study suggests that every time the early solar system passed through such an arm, it was bombarded by comets and asteroids.
Previous theories have suggested that such impacts may have played some role in the formation of land masses on our planet. However, studies that could explain this mechanism have not yet been practically available.
In the new work, a team of scientists studied the oldest geological structures known as cratons. They are called relics of the continental crust of the Earth, as they are one of the oldest rocks on the planet.
For analysis, samples of cratons were taken from the territory of Australia and Greenland. Their age is several billion years. In total, the chemical composition of more than 2,000 pieces of rock was measured in the laboratory.
This analysis made it possible to determine not only the exact age of the rocks. He helped to understand whether these materials formed from molten material deep inside the planet or whether they came from earlier generations of the existing crust.
The data obtained were put into a computer model, which revealed certain patterns. For example, the team found that on our planet, each new layer of solid crust was formed in a kind of jerks, and this happened at roughly equal intervals.
Moreover, it turned out that the growth of the crust occurred approximately every 200 million years, which coincides with the cycle of the passage of the solar system through the spiral arm of the Milky Way.
Based on this, scientists have put forward the theory that cosmic collisions involving gas and dust in spiral arms influenced the formation of land on our young planet.
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