Popular Science

The early Earth wasn’t green, but it did recycle itself

Some surprisingly old rocks give scientists a peek into the past

Jonathan O'Neil

Some of these rocks—at 2.7 billion years old—contain traces of 4.3 billion year old earth.

The Earth is about 4.5 billion years old, give or take a few million years. But most of what we see today on our planet’s surface is much younger—only a few billion years old, if that.

So how do we know what happened between the time the

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