Anyways, onto my question here. By taking an element with a known rate of decay, and knowing its concentration in moon rocks or the Earth's surface, researchers can back-calculate a time for when the material formed. These results, which suggest the Earth formed nearly million years after our solar system was born, also throw a monkey wrench into how scientists think about the formation of other rocky planets like Mars and Venus, Jacobson says. Samplethe Seatbelt basalt. All of the ages were calculated using baseless assumptions about the initial concentrations of radioactive isotopes and erroneous speculation about how those concentrations changed over time. And the new method researchers used to arrive at their conclusion does away with a lot of the questions about the traditional ways of calculating its age.
Over time, atoms of the radioactive form of potassium—an isotope called potassium—will decay within a rock to spontaneously form stable atoms of argon
The Age of the Moon
Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. We will refer to those sources by number in Table 2. The 40 K- 40 Ar ages are for No. Views Read Edit View history. Their new method relies on the fact that elements in the Earth's crust that have an affinity for combining with iron, such as platinum or iridium, arrived after the last giant impact.