Age of planet Earth

Age of planet Earth - the time that has passed since the formation of the Earth as an independent planet. For a long time, the age of planet Earth was determined by paleontological findings. Traditionally, the age of the planet Earth is determined based on the radioisotope dating of not only terrestrial samples, but also meteoritic matter.

Age of planet Earth - the time that has passed since the formation of the Earth as an independent planet

It turned out that many samples of minerals are more than a billion years old. The oldest found at the moment - small crystals of zircon from Jack Hills in Western Australia - their age is not less than 4404 million years. Based on a comparison of the mass and luminosity of the Sun and other stars, it was concluded that Solar system can not be much older than these crystals. The oldest known meteorite samples that formed within the Solar systems have an age of 4567 million years, which makes it possible to establish the age of the solar system and the upper limit of the age of the Earth. Precisely the age of the planet Earth is difficult to determine because of the oldest rocks emerging on the surface of the Earth, because they are made up of minerals of different ages.

Many years ago, scientists discovered that some of the elements that make up the mountain rocks, continuously disintegrate, stopping at the same time into other elements: moreover, the decomposition of rocks proceeds at a constant rate. Take, for example, potassium. Disintegrating, it turns into calcium and argon gas. We managed to establish that half of the potassium contained in the mineral of potassium passes into argon and calcium for... 300 million years. After the next 300 million years, the concentration of potassium in the mineral is halved, and so without end. Scientists, using this pattern, have learned to determine the age of rocks and, as a consequence, the age of the planet Earth.

"How?" - you ask.

The lab technician takes a sample of the rock and enters it into the flame of a special device - a flame photometer. The color of the tribe changes instantly. The color change is fixed by a photometer, which shows how much is left in the sample of potassium. Then determine how much potassium passed into argon. To do this, place the sample in the vacuum, and there under the action high frequency currents it melts. The amount of liberated argon is accurately fixed in another installation - a mass spectrometer. Comparing the obtained data, it is not difficult to determine the age of the studied rock.

Thus, using the argon method, the age of the planet Earth was determined. It is approximately 5 billion years.