Radiometric dating moon rocks

09-Dec-2015 06:29

The common belief is that the moon formed from a giant impact into the Earth and then solidified from an ocean of molten rock (magma)."If our analysis represents the age of the moon, then the Earth must be fairly young as well," said Borg, a chemist.They have been dated by a number of radiometric dating methods and the consistency of the results give scientists confidence that the ages are correct to within a few percent.The oldest dated moon rocks, however, have ages between 4.4 and 4.5 billion years and provide a minimum age for the formation of our nearest planetary neighbor.However, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientist Lars Borg and international collaborators have analyzed three isotopic systems, including the elements lead, samarium and neodymium found in ancient lunar rocks, and determined that the moon could be much younger than originally estimated. The age of the Earth is traditionally thought of as 4.54 billion years (4.54 × 109 years ± 1%).This age is based on evidence from radiometric age dating of meteorite material and is consistent with the ages of the oldest-known terrestrial and lunar samples.Ancient rocks exceeding 3.5 billion years in age are found on all of Earth's continents.The oldest rocks on Earth found so far are the Acasta Gneisses in northwestern Canada near Great Slave Lake (4.03 Ga) and the Isua Supracrustal rocks in West Greenland (3.7 to 3.8 Ga), but well-studied rocks nearly as old are also found in the Minnesota River Valley and northern Michigan (3.5-3.7 billion years), in Swaziland (3.4-3.5 billion years), and in Western Australia (3.4-3.6 billion years).

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The results show that the meteorites, and therefore the Solar System, formed between 4.53 and 4.58 billion years ago.

The new Moon research has implications for the age of Earth as well.