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So, you can use the radioactive elements to measure the age of rocks and minerals. Their useful range is from about 1/10 their half-life (the time it takes for half of the radioactive element/isotope-- the parent, to convert into a non-radioactive element/isotope-- the daughter) to 10 times their half-life. You can use this to measure the age of a rock from about 128 million years to more than 10 billion years (the Solar System is 4.56 billion years old).So, Carbon-14 can only measure things up to just over 50,000 years old, great for determining when someone built a wood fire, but not good for determining the age of a meteorite. It occurs whenever an atom has an unbalanced number of protons and neutrons in its nucleus.For the others, one can only use relative age dating (such as counting craters) in order to estimate the age of the surface and the history of the surface.The biggest assumption is that, to first order, the number of asteroids and comets hitting the Earth and the Moon was the same as for Mercury, Venus, and Mars. The bottom line is that the more craters one sees, the older the surface is.For example: a carbon-14 atom (the "parent") emits radiation and transforms to a nitrogen-14 atom (the "daughter").It is impossible to predict when a given atom will decay, but given a large number of similar atoms, the decay rate on average is predictable.

On the other hand, the number of neutrons that can be contained in the nucleus can vary.For others, all we are doing is getting a relative age, using things like the formation of craters and other features on a surface.By studying other planets, we are learning more about our own planet. video Details)var in Next Video Autoplay Countries=! wikia JWPlayer=:wikia JWPlayer);define( 'ext.Engine.video.player.Tracking',['ext.Engine.utils.event Dispatcher','ext.Engine.video.player.jwplayer.jwplayer Tracker','ext.Engine.Parser'],function(event Dispatcher,tracker,vast Parser));define('ext.Engine.video.player.jwplayer.jwplayer Tracker',['ext.Engine.video.player.player Tracker'],function(player Tracker));define('wikia.article Video.featured Video.ads',['ext.Context','ext.Engine.Url Builder','ext.Ad Unit Builder','ext.Registry','ext.Provider','ext.Engine.video.article Video Ad','ext.Engine.video.player.Tracking','ext.Engine.Debugger','wikia.log'],function(ad Context,vast Url Builder,mega Ad Unit Builder,slot Registry,src Provider,article Video Ad,ads Tracking,vast Debugger,log));define('wikia.article Video.featured Video.cookies',['wikia.cookies'],function(cookies));require(['wikia.window','wikia.geo','wikia.cookies','wikia.tracker','ext.Context','wikia.article Video.featured Video.data','wikia.article Video.featured Video.ads','wikia.article Video.featured Tracking','wikia.article Video.featured Video.cookies', require.optional('ext.Engine.lookup.a9')],function(win,geo,cookies,tracker,ad Context,video Details,featured Video Ads,featured Video Moat Tracking,featured Video Cookie Service,a9){if(!We can then use radioactive age dating in order to date the ages of the surfaces (when the rocks first formed, i.e. We also have meteorites from asteroids and can date them, too.These are the surfaces that we can get absolute ages for.This can be interpreted in two ways: why it is important to know the age of a planet or how is age dating important in determining the age of a planet?Based on our study of meteorites and rocks from the Moon, as well as modeling the formation of planets, it is believed (pretty much well-established) that all of the objects in the Solar System formed very quickly about 4.56 billion years ago.This predictable decay is called the half-life of the parent atom, the time it takes for one half of all of the parent atoms to transform into the daughter.This may simply have to do with what the media is talking about.

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