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helium, Second most common An element in the known universe, surprisingly rare on Earth. It is the only completely non-renewable element on our planet, which makes it even more difficult to obtain.
We extract it from natural gas deposits in the planet’s crust that slowly form as it rises through the Earth’s layers and eventually spreads into the atmosphere.
Exactly what remains of the objects remains largely a mystery. The theory goes that since they have not completely disappeared over billions of years, the Earth’s core may be leaking much larger yet undiscovered reserves.
Now, a team of scientists from the California Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has studied samples taken from lava fields on the Baffin Islands in Canada and Iceland and discovered that they contain similar mysterious concentrations of helium isotopes, suggesting they came from Earth. The same source deep, deep underground, which was already slowly leaking matter over time.
It’s not only a tantalizing glimpse into our planet’s early days, but also a great opportunity to study Earth’s extremely inaccessible core.
As detailed in A paper Published in the magazine natureScientists concluded that this source may originate in the ground. They reached this conclusion by taking into account the presence of other noble gases such as neon, which coincides with conditions prevailing at a time when the Earth was still actively forming billions of years ago.
The scientists conclude that if they are right about the source of these gases, it could give us invaluable insights into the processes and conditions that existed when our planet came into existence and study the Earth’s core, which is, of course, trapped under thousands of rocks. Miles of liquid rock and minerals.
There’s still a lot we don’t know about the formation of our planet, but this latest piece could be part of a much larger puzzle about how the Earth formed.
More about the Earth’s core: Scientists have discovered a giant solid metal ball inside the Earth
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