In the early 1960s, when scientists discovered that the blue and red gemstones we see on our fingernails and in our eyes were formed from a single mineral, they were not convinced of the existence of an extraterrestrial life form.
Instead, the scientists suggested that it was because the crystals in the gems were formed during the creation of the Earth and the universe.
The scientists, however, were wrong.
Green gemstones are not extraterrestrial, but they are the result of a complex, multicellular life form that is also composed of a diverse range of minerals.
Scientists at the University of Washington, the Smithsonian Institution, and other institutions have used computer simulations and mathematical models to study the evolution of the green gemstone.
The most recent study suggests that green gems were likely formed in a single, early stage of the solar system, at about 3.5 billion years ago.
But scientists have known about the green gems for centuries, and they have a name for them: blue-green interstitial minerals (BGM).
They were first identified in the 1970s by a team of scientists led by Michael H. Pischke, an assistant professor of geology at the U.S. Geological Survey.
BGM are a class of minerals that form when an interstitial mineral layer is disturbed by cosmic rays.
During the cosmic rays’ bombardment of the interstitial layer, the rock fragments, and the minerals formed.
At the time, the researchers were able to find several examples of the BGM, including one from Greenland that was found to contain nearly 2 billion minerals.
That BGM also contained blue and green gems.
In the new study, H. Scott Stebbins, an associate professor of earth and planetary sciences at the Smithsonian and a co-author of the study, analyzed data from the Hubble Space Telescope and analyzed a sample of the Green Gems from the Southern Crater.
Using this data, Stebbsons and his colleagues were able not only to predict how much of the mineral layer had been altered by cosmic ray bombardment, but also to predict what the BMG would look like today if it had formed that early.
Stebbsings team also found evidence that the Green Gemstones were formed by a complex of three different forms of interstitial rocks that were deposited at different times during the solar history.
“The minerals in the rocks are all related,” Stebbingtons said.
“But I think we can say with some confidence that they are all interstitial.”
Stibbons and his team estimate that there are more than 100 billion BGM on Earth today, which means that more than 2 billion years have elapsed since Earth formed.
But because the amount of the minerals on Earth is constantly changing, scientists have never been able to predict when or how the BGs will form.
What we have learned from these findings is that we don’t know exactly how Earth evolved, and we still have much to learn about how it formed.
That is why Stibbons, who has studied Earth-like planets and other objects in the Solar System for decades, is now focusing on understanding the history of our solar system.
This is an image of the Southern Cross and an image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Mission.