4/08/2005

Proof of life's irony

while diamonds are forever the oldest think on Earth is cubic zirconia.

My Way News

Earth's Oldest Known Object on Display

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - A tiny speck of zircon crystal that is barely visible to the eye is believed to be the oldest known piece of Earth at about 4.4 billion years old. For the first time ever, the public will have a chance to see the particle Saturday at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where researchers in 2001 made the breakthrough discovery that the early Earth was much cooler than previously believed based on analysis of the crystal.

To create buzz about an otherwise arcane subject, the university is planning a daylong celebration of the ancient stone - 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 will be displayed - under police guard - from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. "The idea of having a big celebration of something that's so tiny - we're playing with the obvious absurdity of it."

With the aid of a microscope, anyone will be able to check out the tiny grain, which measures less than two human hairs in diameter.


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