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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 March, 2005, 16:37 GMT
Celebration gig for ancient rock
Zircon crystal (Nature)
The mineral grain is believed to be over four billion years old
The University of Wisconsin, US, is to hold a rock concert to celebrate the world's oldest known mineral fragment.

The concert, which will take place in April, will feature a performance from the New York band Jazz Passengers, who use rocks as percussion instruments.

The Earth material, which will appear on stage during the performance, is a tiny piece of zircon crystal believed to be around 4.4 billion years old.

It was discovered in western Australia and has been loaned to the University.


Researchers have said the mineral grain, which was found in 2001, points to evidence that the Earth cooled much earlier than originally thought.

However, concert organiser Joe Sklulan, from the university's Madison Geology Museum, said the event was not just being held for educational purposes.

"I'm kind of adamant about this not being a science outreach event," he said.

"The intention would be to evoke the feeling of 4.4 billion years, which is something you can't rationally grasp."

He also said that the musicians would perform songs with a geological theme.

Around 150 people have so far signed up to attend the free event, which takes place on 9 April.

Ancient crystal questions Earth's history
11 Jan 01 |  Science/Nature

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