Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Livermore Lab Chemist Accurately Dates First Objects To Form In The Solar System

Date:
September 6, 2002
Source:
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Summary:
A geochemist from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, teaming with researchers from the Royal Ontario Museum, the University of Hawaii and Moscow State University, has accurately dated Calcium Aluminum-rich inclusions (CAIs), the oldest objects in our solar system, to be 4.57 billion years old.

LIVERMORE, Calif. -- A geochemist from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, teaming with researchers from the Royal Ontario Museum, the University of Hawaii and Moscow State University, has accurately dated Calcium Aluminum-rich inclusions (CAIs), the oldest objects in our solar system, to be 4.57 billion years old.

Related Articles


In addition, the team has determined that chondrules, another of the earliest objects in the solar system, are 2 to 3 million years younger than CAIs.

The findings, by Ian Hutcheon of LLNL, Yuri Amelin of the Royal Ontario Museum, Alexander Krot of the University of Hawaii and Alexander Ulyanov of Moscow State University, will be published in the Sept. 6, 2002 edition of Science. The article is titled "Pb Isotopic Ages of Chondrules and Ca-Al Rich Inclusions."

Using mass spectrometers to study CAIs and chondrules found in chondritic meteorites, the team was able to determine the ages of the objects by measuring the decay of uranium 238, which is found in both objects and decays into lead. Using an ion microprobe, Hutcheon dated CAIs and chondrules by detecting the decay of aluminum 26 -- also found in both objects -- into magnesium 26.

By comparing the lead and magnesium isotope contents in the CAIs and chondrules, the team determined how old the objects are. Aluminum 26 decays much faster than uranium, and these measurements enabled the team to determine the small difference in age between CAIs and chondrules with unprecedented precision.

"This is the first piece of evidence proving that CAIs are 2 to 3 million years older than chondrules," Hutcheon said. "We were able to make this conclusion based on our measurements." CAIs and chondrules are millimeter-size objects found in primitive meteorites. They formed when dusty regions of the solar nebula were heated to very high temperatures. The dust melted and then crystallized, forming first CAIs and then chondrules. Larger objects, like asteroids and planets, took longer to form and are about 10 to 50 million years younger than the CAIs and chondrules.

"All these objects didn't just form in a snap," Hutcheon said. "By determining the ages of CAIs and chondrules, we can better date asteroids and planets and learn more about the early history of the solar system."

Founded in 1952, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is a national security laboratory, with a mission to ensure national security and apply science and technology to the important issues of our time. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. "Livermore Lab Chemist Accurately Dates First Objects To Form In The Solar System." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 September 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/09/020906065136.htm>.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. (2002, September 6). Livermore Lab Chemist Accurately Dates First Objects To Form In The Solar System. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/09/020906065136.htm
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. "Livermore Lab Chemist Accurately Dates First Objects To Form In The Solar System." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/09/020906065136.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Crew Blasts Off for Int'l Space Station

Raw: Crew Blasts Off for Int'l Space Station

AP (Nov. 23, 2014) A Russian capsule carrying three astronauts from Russia, the United States and Italy has blasted off for the International Space Station. (Nov. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google Announces Improvements To Balloon-Borne Wi-Fi Project

Google Announces Improvements To Balloon-Borne Wi-Fi Project

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) In a blog post, Google said its balloons have traveled 3 million kilometers since the start of Project Loon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Crowdfunded Moon Mission Offers To Store Your Digital Memory

Crowdfunded Moon Mission Offers To Store Your Digital Memory

Newsy (Nov. 19, 2014) Lunar Mission One is offering to send your digital memory (or even your DNA) to the moon to be stored for a billion years. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Accidents Ignite Debate on US Commercial Space Travel

Accidents Ignite Debate on US Commercial Space Travel

AFP (Nov. 19, 2014) Serious accidents with two US commercial spacecraft within a week of each-other in October have re-ignited the debate over the place of private corporations in the exploration of space. Duration: 02:08 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins