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SCIENCE IN THE NEWS DAILY

Harsh Climate Scoured Early Earth, Study Says

from National Geographic News

Earth's early atmosphere may have been highly corrosive to rocks, gradually dissolving away all but the toughest of minerals, a new study suggests.

The findings could explain a gap in Earth's geologic record that has puzzled scientists.

"It's possible that [the new study] answers the riddle," said Takayuki Ushikubo, a geologist at the University of Wisconsin, who led the study published online in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters.

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PODCASTS: From Balloons to Space Stations: Studying Cosmic Rays

CREAM Inflating

Cosmic rays have mysterious qualities about them that scientists continue to research in order to better understand their origins and composition. Dr. Eun-Suk Seo, a professor of physics at the University of Maryland, and her colleagues, fly enormous balloons as large as a football stadium and a volume of 40-million-cubic feet for extended periods over Antarctica to study particles coming from cosmic rays before they break up in the atmosphere.

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