Solar System May Be Older Than Thought
By Mike Wall | Space.com
The solar system may be up to two million years older than previously thought, a new study has found.
Researchers studying bits of a meteorite discovered that the space rock was 4.5682 billion years old, predating previous estimates of the solar system’s age by up to 1.9 million years. This adjustment, though ever so slight, should help astronomers better understand how the sun and planets formed.
"We believe that, right now, this is the most precise and accurate date for the age of the solar system," said study co-author Meenakshi Wadhwa of Arizona State University.
Meteorite detective story
Wadhwa and colleague Audrey Bouvier, also of ASU, made the find while studying a meteorite called NWA 2364, which fell to Earth in Morocco in 2004. They examined a 1-centimeter chunk of the meteorite known as a calcium-aluminum-rich inclusion, or CAI.
Inclusions are minerals that get trapped inside meteorites as the space rocks are forming. Scientists believe CAI’s were among the first solids to condense out when the sun and planets were forming, so CAI ages are good representations of the solar system’s age.
Wadhwa and Bouvier used lead-lead dating, a technique commonly used to date meteorites, to figure out the CAI’s age. They measured the abundances of three lead isotopes - versions of the element with different atomic masses - in the CAI. Two of the lead versions form when uranium isotopes radioactively decay; the other one is not a decay product.
Comparing the amounts of the three lead isotopes, and relating those numbers to the known rates of uranium-isotope decay, gave the researchers their answer: 4.5682 billion years.
This number is only a hair older than previous estimates of the solar system’s age, which were chiefly gleaned from dating CAI’s in other meteorites. But the difference is real, according to Wadhwa.
"That’s the power of geochemistry," she told SPACE.com. "You can make very, very precise measurements."
Age of the solar system
And even such small adjustments to the solar system’s age can be very important to astronomers seeking to understand how the sun and planets formed.
As an example, Wadhwa and Bouvier cite the abundance of the isotope iron-60 in the proto-solar system. Iron-60 is radioactive, with a half-life of about 2.6 million years. Every 2.6 million years, half of the iron-60 in a given sample decays away.
So if you push the age of the solar system back by about two million years, that means there was almost twice as much iron-60 present during its birth than previously thought. And this increased concentration has consequences: it strongly supports the idea that a supernova exploded nearby during the solar system’s formation, injecting huge quantities of heat that helped nascent bodies differentiate.
"Iron-60 is kind of a smoking gun," Wadhwa said. "If present in certain abundances, it can only really be there because of a supernova injection."
Astronomers can do this sort of sleuthing with many different isotopes that have relatively short half-lives. So nailing down the solar system’s age precisely is key.
"It gives us a better understanding of the type of environment the solar system evolved in," Wadhwa said.
The researchers report their findings Aug. 22 in the online version of Nature Geoscience.
Article from: Space.com
Hypergeometry, Astrology and the Spaces Inbetween (Video)
Violent spacequakes shake Earth from above
Age Confirmed for ’Eve,’ Mother of All Humans
New Find Pushes Age of Stone Tools Back A Million Years!
Revised theory of gravity doesn’t predict a Big Bang
Big Bang experiment may reveal dark universe: CERN
Andrew Lange, physicist who explored remnants of Big Bang, dies at age 52
Latest News from our Front Page
Sweden may be at war "in a few years" - top brass in leaked document
In a few years Sweden may be engaged in a war with a “qualified opponent” after two centuries of peace, a senior Swedish commander has told soldiers in an internal brochure.
The alarming message was reportedly sent by Major General Anders Brännström, the Army chief, in a brochure distributed among the participants of a major annual event that is to open ...
Danish imam urges govt to accept child marriages among refugees
A high-profile imam has urged the Danish government to accept child brides, as the practice is part of the culture of many refugees arriving in the country. It follows an announcement by Denmark that such couples will be separated under Danish law.
Imam Oussama El-Saadi, of the Aarhus mosque in Denmark, said that child brides should be looked at from a ...
White Parents in Virginia Shutdown White Guilt Video!
You see folks? This is what happens when you stop blaming the Joo, and you get the fuck off your favorite bitch corner and start taking action! This is what happens when parents start parenting again! What? You’re gonna brainwash our kids with your filth and lies? We don’t think so. How would you like an empty school with no ...
Hungarian Top Economist: Civil War is Coming to Europe
Zsolt Bayer, Hungarian journalist, publicist, and co-founder of Hungary's currently ruling political party, and Dr. László Bogár, former politician and leading economist, discuss the Cologne sexual assualts committed by migrants on New Year's Eve, 2016.
This short part of the 60-minute long television program that aired on Echo TV on January 8, 2016, is of a rant by Mr. Bogár warning ...
British scientists granted permission to genetically modify human embryos
The Francis Crick institute will genetically edit the leftover embryos from from IVF clinics
British scientists have been granted permission to genetically modify human embryos by the fertility regulator.
The scientists want to deactivate genes in leftover embryos from IVF clinics to see if it hinders development.
It will only be the second time in the world that such a procedure has ...
|More News » |