A new study reports that the Earth’s core is leaking rare helium-3. All helium-3 leak proves that Earth formed in a solar nebula. Helium-3 has been detected at modest levels near the Earth’s surface. However, scientists had no idea how much was seeping from the Earth’s core compared to the mantle, the Earth’s main layers.
The new research identifies the Earth’s core as a critical source of helium-3. Radioactive decay of tritium, can produce helium-3 and most of helium-3 is made in nebulae—massive, whirling clouds of gas and dust like the one that gave origin to our Solar System. Most helium-3 can be traced back to the Big Bang since helium is one of the oldest elements generated in the cosmos.
In the early phases of the Formation of the planet, when helium was gaining to the planet, and after the Formation of the Moon, when helium was lost, scientists modeled helium. About 4 billion years ago, asteroids one-third Earth’s size collided with the planet, melting its crust and releasing much helium. This leakage continues today.
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