Isotope Measurement Rewrites Solar System’s History
The early days of the solar system might look quite different than previously thought, according to research at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory published in Science. The study used more sensitive instruments to find a different half-life for samarium, one of the isotopes used to chart the evolution of the solar system.
“It shrinks the chronology of early events in the solar system, like the formation of planets, into a shorter time span,” says Argonne physicist Michael Paul. “It also means some of the oldest rocks on Earth would have formed even earlier — as early as 120 million years after the solar system formed, in one case of Greenland rocks.”
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