Start Age of solar system from radiometric dating

Age of solar system from radiometric dating

While some physicists used these discoveries for applications ranging from nuclear weapons to nuclear medicine, others applied them to understanding the natural world.

Geological timekeeping continues to be a lively science, with new methods emerging all the time.

Nineteenth century geologists recognized that rocks formed slowly as mountains eroded and sediments settled on the ocean floor.

But they could not say just how long such processes had taken, and thus how old their fossils were.

But inside the zircon, the team was able to pull out four different elements: uranium, lead, lutetium, and hafnium.

Since uranium - a radioactive element - eventually turns into lead after long periods of time, the researchers could analyse how long the lead had been forming, giving them an accurate date of the Moon’s birth.

Life is well over 3.5 billion years old, and until about 600 million years ago, the planet was dominated by microbes.

Radioactive clocks have shown that evolution can change its pace — the Cambrian Explosion of about 535 million years ago saw the relatively rapid emergence of many major lineages of animals in just a few million years.

The team performed a process known as uranium-lead dating on zircon samples that were extracted from the Apollo 14 space rocks.