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It's not the air that you breathe

11.11.10

 

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Earth’s atmosphere contained enough oxygen for complex life to develop nearly 1.2 billion years ago — 400 million years earlier than scientists previously believed.

The findings, reported in the Nov. 11 Nature, could lead scientists to reconsider the prerequisites for animal life, on Earth and other planets.

“It means that the conditions were in place for complex life to arise,” said geologist John Parnell of the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, lead author of the new study. “There might be animals in that earlier window that we have not yet found.”

Geological records show there was one major increase in the amount of oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere around 2.3 billion years ago, and another around 800 million years ago.

That second spike in oxygen levels was thought to be connected to the Cambrian explosion, the swift development of most of the major animal groups that came around 550 million years ago.

Parnell’s results suggest oxygen can’t be the whole story.

“It may have been that something else gave evolution the kick-start which caused animals to evolve,” he said. “Oxygen in the atmosphere was already there for quite a long time.”

 

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Burp! Went the Black Hole

11.11.10

 

The two vast structures, stretching to the north and to the south of the centre of the Milky Way, are so big that a beam of light, travelling at 186,282 miles per second, would take 50,000 years to get from the edge of one to the edge of the other.

Astronomers' best guess is that the bubbles were created by an eruption from a supersized black hole at the centre of our galaxy.

 

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This one I really like!

11.11.10

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Mais t-shirts

11.11.10

 

 

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