Earth

Study: Earth May Have Had Oxygen Earlier Than Previously Thought

Discovery may have implications for possibility of extra-terrestrial life

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Oxygen may have filled Earth's atmosphere hundreds of millions of years earlier than previously thought, suggesting that sunlight-dependent life akin to modern plants evolved very early in Earth's history, a new study finds.

The findings, detailed in the Sept. 26 issue of the journal Nature,have implications for extraterrestrial life as well, hinting that oxygen-generating life could arise very early in a planet's history and potentially suggesting even more worlds could be inhabited around the universe than previously thought, the study's authors said.

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