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03-Mar-2017 21:40

However, the results may not be enough to truly settle the debate on the Moon’s age, according to Richard Carlson, the director for the department of terrestrial magnetism at Carnegie Institution for Science.While Carlson says Barboni and her team did solid work, he has a few concerns about the technique used to analyze the zircon, as well as some assumptions that were made in the study.The giant impact would have created a massive ocean of liquid magma that eventually coalesced into the Earth and the Moon.The chemical signatures of zircon allowed the scientists to estimate when the Moon’s solidification occurred — a key process that is often considered the beginning of the Moon’s life., involved breaking down the chemical components of a mineral within the lunar samples called zircon, according to lead study author Mélanie Barboni.Studying this mineral helped scientists figure out an important event in the Moon’s formation: when it solidified.The number of parent atoms originally present is simply the number present now plus the number of daughter atoms formed by the decay, both of which are quantities that can be measured.

This suggested age makes the Moon a lot older than some recent estimates, which claim our lunar neighbor is 4.3 or 4.4 billion years old.

In addition to the ages of Earth, Moon, and meteorites, radiometric dating has been used to determine ages of fossils, including early man, timing of glaciations, ages of mineral deposits, recurrence rates of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, the history of reversals of Earth's magnetic field, and the age and duration of a wide variety of other geological events and processes.

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Nevertheless, there is substantial evidence that the Earth and the other bodies of the Solar System are 4.5-4.6 billion years old, and that the Milky Way Galaxy and the Universe are older still.

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The principal evidence for the antiquity of Earth and its cosmic surroundings is: Spontaneous breakdown or decay of atomic nuclei, termed radioactive decay, is the basis for all radiometric dating methods.

These concerns may not have thrown off the estimates, but they may cause some experts to doubt the results.