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Not All Things Madison Are Big

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Not All Things Madison Are Big

Postby JTWood » Sat Apr 09, 2005 7:29 pm

Ok, so Madison has this HUGE post total, and probably HUGE bolwing balls, too. But there's something Madison that's not so big...

CNN.com wrote:MADISON, Wisconsin (AP) -- Call it much ado about almost nothing.

To create buzz about an otherwise arcane subject, the University of Wisconsin-Madison showed off a tiny speck of zircon crystal believed to be the oldest known piece of Earth at about 4.4 billion years old.

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It's the little black dot in the middle.

Saturday's daylong celebration was to be capped with "The Rock Concert" by jazz musicians who composed music to try to answer the question: What does 4.4 billion years old sound like?

"This is it -- the oldest thing ever. One day only," said Joe Skulan, director of the UW-Madison Geology Museum, where the object was displayed under police guard. "The idea of having a big celebration of something that's so tiny -- we're playing with the obvious absurdity of it."

Jazz Passengers, a six-piece group from New York, was hired to compose music for the event. Composer Roy Nathanson said he mixed humor, jazz music, computer-generated beats and the occasional rocks being banged together to "follow the geological history of how this zircon came about."

"It's an amazing story. The whole thing is something that captures your imagination," said Nathanson, 53, a saxophonist who spent a year composing the performance.

Though scientists acknowledged there wasn't much to see, spectators used a microscope to check out the tiny grain, which measures less than two human hairs in diameter.

Analysis of the object in 2001 by John Valley, a UW-Madison professor of geology and geophysics, startled researchers around the world by concluding that the early Earth, instead of being a roiling ocean of magma, was cool enough to have oceans and continents -- key conditions for life.

"It's not very much to look at because it's so very small. But to me, the miraculous thing about the crystal is that we've been able to make such wide-ranging inferences about the early Earth," Valley said. "This is our first glimpse into the earliest history of the Earth."

Before its discovery, the oldest evidence for liquid water on the planet was from a rock estimated to be much younger -- 3.8 billion years old.

After the festivities, the object will return to its native Australia with Simon Wilde, professor at Curtin University of Technology in Perth, Western Australia, who made its discovery in 1984.

The sample eventually will be put on display at a natural history museum in that country.
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Postby Viper8437 » Sat Apr 09, 2005 8:18 pm

amazing :-B
Last edited by Viper8437 on Sat Apr 09, 2005 10:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby eftda » Sat Apr 09, 2005 9:06 pm

whatever :-°

I find it hard to belive that the earth is "4.4" billion years old. IMO its a load of crap. Just like how our best picture of Pluto is a blurry white spot yet were able to discover its elements.
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Postby Madison » Sat Apr 09, 2005 10:46 pm

I'm not 4.4 billion years old either. :-b

Interesting find! ;-D
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Postby JTWood » Sat Apr 09, 2005 11:13 pm

eftda wrote:whatever :-°

I find it hard to belive that the earth is "4.4" billion years old. IMO its a load of crap. Just like how our best picture of Pluto is a blurry white spot yet were able to discover its elements.

I believe we can tell what a planet is made of by just a few simple indicators - spectographic analysis (color), density, and rotation. There might be other factors, but I'm pretty sure those three things are a) easy to ascertain and b) very useful.
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Postby Kingctb27 » Sun Apr 10, 2005 3:01 am

Yeah, I'm with Eftda on this one, there's no way this earth is "4.4" billon years old..... :-°

Another thing is, y are we spending money on this crap when we could be somehow lowering gas prices... :-°
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Postby Arlo » Sun Apr 10, 2005 11:39 am

JTWood wrote:Not All Things Madison Are Big

Well, obviously. I mean, there's Madison, and then there's Texas-sized Madison! :-D
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Postby Irish » Mon Apr 11, 2005 12:02 pm

kingctb27 wrote:Yeah, I'm with Eftda on this one, there's no way this earth is "4.4" billon years old..... :-°

Another thing is, y are we spending money on this crap when we could be somehow lowering gas prices... :-°


Um, why? 4.4 Billion may seem like a while, but it's not like a planet developing happens overnight.

Were you thinking more like 3.4 billion? :-b
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Postby blankman » Mon Apr 11, 2005 12:44 pm

Irish wrote:
kingctb27 wrote:Yeah, I'm with Eftda on this one, there's no way this earth is "4.4" billon years old..... :-°

Another thing is, y are we spending money on this crap when we could be somehow lowering gas prices... :-°


Um, why? 4.4 Billion may seem like a while, but it's not like a planet developing happens overnight.

Were you thinking more like 3.4 billion? :-b


I know nothing on the matter and doubt anyone here knows much so to dispute their findings seems like nothing more than uneducated skepticism.
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Postby AtlDynasty25 » Mon Apr 11, 2005 2:21 pm

For what it's worth, we learned in the Astronomy class that I took last semester that the Earth began to form about 4.8 Billion years ago.
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