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Sioux Falls Scientists endorse Australia's First 4 Billion Years for showing
us the history of the earth from the vantage point of one continent.

Australia's First 4 Billion Years

Australia's First 4 Billion Years (2013) - 240 minutes
Australia's First 4 Billion Years at Amazon.com

Of all the continents on Earth, none preserves a more spectacular story of its origins than Australia. In this four-part series from NOVA, Australia's First 4 Billion Years takes viewers on a rollicking adventure from the birth of the Earth to the emergence of the world we know today. With help from high-energy host and geologist Richard Smith, we meet titanic dinosaurs and giant kangaroos; sea monsters and prehistoric crustaceans; disappearing mountains and deadly asteroids.

Epic in scope, intimate in nature, this is the untold story of the Land Down Under, the one island continent that has got it all. Join NOVA on the ultimate Outback road trip - an exploration of the history of the planet as seen through the mind-altering window of the Australian continent.

8-17-16 Giant ancient supervolcanoes threw rock right across Australia
Giant ancient supervolcanoes threw rock right across Australia
Massive eruptions when New Zealand ripped away from Australia were tens to hundreds of times stronger than anything ever recorded in human history. The east coast of Australia was once lined by volcanoes that were so explosive they could shoot sand-sized particles 2300 kilometres – ­­all the way across to the west coast. The volcanic activity occurred 100 million years ago, at a time when New Zealand began tearing away from Australia’s eastern edge. Until recently, the only evidence of the scale of these eruptions were the 20-kilometre-wide dormant craters and the solidified lava flows left behind. But now, Milo Barham at Curtin University in Western Australia and his colleagues have found that these eastern Australian volcanoes flung material to the other side of the country.

5-11-16 Shooting stars show Earth had oxygen eons before we thought
Shooting stars show Earth had oxygen eons before we thought
Tiny meteorites discovered in Australia show that Earth's air had some oxygen in it at a time when no one thought it did – 2.7 billion years ago. Yet the scorched remains of 60 micrometeorites have survived 2.7 billion years in the limestone Tumbiana Formation of Western Australia. They are the oldest space rocks ever discovered on Earth. What’s more, the fact that the meteorites contain oxides of iron show that the upper part of the atmosphere back then must have contained oxygen. “We were very surprised to find micrometeorites at all, let alone those with iron oxides,” says Matthew Genge of Imperial College London. “It was incredible, these tiny spherules had trapped ancient atmosphere, storing it away like little treasure chests.” The biggest surprise was the presence of oxygen, says lead author Andrew Tomkins of Monash University in Australia. “As geologists, we are taught the Earth had no oxygen in its atmosphere before 2.3 to 2.4 billion years ago.”

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Australia's First 4 Billion Years

Sioux Falls Scientists endorse Australia's First 4 Billion Years for showing
us the history of the earth from the vantage point of one continent.