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O'Neil said that scientists had previously theorized that Earth was a truly inhospitable place at this young geological age, a searing, active world with molten lava lakes incapable of supporting any surface water or life.However, O'Neil said that recent research is painting a far different picture.

As an amateur astronomer, Nicole can be found looking up at the night sky appreciating the marvels of our universe.

She is the editor of the Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada and the author of several books.

Hematite, a type of iron oxide, is one of the most common minerals on Earth.

These structures could also have been created by temperature and pressure rather than organisms.

We already have evidence of water at the surface of the Earth by about 4.3 billion years ago." And it's in that water, together with thermal activity below where life began to flourish, first as microorganisms.