Sexy chat girland boy - Radiometric dating of surface rocks
"We were able to correct for everything that was a problem before, the reasons people said zircon couldn't be used," she told Mike Wall at
Hopefully, as these measurements become more and more precise, we will gain a full understanding of how the Moon - and the rest of the Solar System - formed, giving us more details about life on Earth, and the possibility of life on other planets.
The ratios of lutetium and hafnium in the zircon also indicated how long the mineral had been around for.
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Unfortunately, those methods don't work on all rocks, and they don't work at all if you don't have rocks in the laboratory to age-date. They are descriptions of how one rock or event is older or younger than another.
There's no absolute age-dating method that works from orbit, and although scientists are working on age-dating instruments small enough to fly on a lander (I'm looking at you, Barbara Cohen), nothing has launched yet. Relative age dating has given us the names we use for the major and minor geologic time periods we use to split up the history of Earth and all the other planets.
And the new research suggests that it happened earlier in the timeline of the Solar System than we thought - just 60 million years after our star system's birth, compared to previous estimates of 150 to 200 million years afterwards.
To come up with the new lunar age estimate, the team analysed Moon rocks taken from the lunar surface during the Apollo 14 mission.
The reason we've never been able to accurately date the age of the Moon in the past is that there's very few well-preserved Moon rocks left on its surface.