TNRTB Archive – Retained for reference information
A team of international scientists has uncovered an unlikely tool for understanding the onset of Earth’s geodynamo (the mechanism producing Earth’s magnetic field). Since the moon was formed at high temperatures, it is nearly depleted of volatile elements like nitrogen. Some nitrogen is found in the surface of lunar soils, but it originates from nonlunar sources—the largest source being the solar wind. However, before the geodynamo that maintains Earth’s magnetic field turned on, significant amounts of nitrogen could have been transported from Earth and implanted in lunar soils. If so, different isotopic abundances would be observed between dark side and bright side lunar rocks. If these differences were found, dating of the rocks could also determine the start date of Earth’s magnetic field. This new tool provides a powerful mechanism to test and refine RTB’s cosmic creation model.
- M. Ozima et al., “Terrestrial Nitrogen and Noble Gases in Lunar Soils,” Nature 436 (2005): 655-59.
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