We have always wanted to know how exactly the Earth was formed. Was it created by incredibly hot fragments of cosmic matter that eventually got together to give birth to our planet? Or maybe, one of the less popular theories could surprisingly provide us with a better explanation. With a recent discovery, we might be able to solve the mystery of Earth’s origin.
The age of interplanetary dust
Some interstellar dust particles were discovered in the upper part of our planet’s atmosphere by a group of scientists. Technically speaking, rather than dust, these are extremely small grains called GEMS (Glass Embedded with Metal and Sulfides).
According to the scientists, these are the remnants from the time when the solar system was created, possibly even older. This is the same type of material that shaped our solar system and Earth and which now can be examined by scientists from the perspective of its chemistry.
The origin of the dust
Most probably, the interstellar dust discovered by scientists was brought to our solar system by comets which release small particles as they pass near the orbit of Earth. These particles are in turn collected in the upper parts of our planet’s atmosphere. Now that we can study them, they should give us some clues on how the Earth was formed.
What can this discovery change?
Nowadays, most of the scientists seem to favor the theory that our Sun and planets are the final products of incredibly hot matter gathered together by gravity, scattered through what later would become the solar system. However, the tiny particles recently discovered could rather suggest that the building materials which formed all the celestial bodies were cold. According to the scientists, if these early assumptions are proved right, then what we know about the origin of stars and planets may be changed forever.
Brad is a former Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, is an award-winning travel, culture, and parenting writer. His writing has appeared in many of the Canada’s most respected and credible publications, including the Toronto Star, CBC News and on the cover of Smithsonian Magazine. A meticulous researcher who’s not afraid to be controversial, he is nationally known as a journalist who opens people’s eyes to the realities behind accepted practices in the care of children. Brad is a contributing journalist to Advocator.ca