Lunar Meteorites

Astronomy is one of the most exciting sciences due to numerous celestial phenomena that are simply awesome and beautiful to see. Not only that, the universe as a whole is a mysterious fact that may never be fully explained by science. There are new discoveries such as the existence of distant galaxies and black holes that are constantly revealed by space exploration programs. The reason why we are so fascinated by these celestial objects is because many of them pose as threats to our human existence. Whatever cataclysm that occurs far away can cause destruction to our planet.

Most of these strange occurrences happen in extremely long distances from Earth and are too far away to cause a catastrophe. However, there are some that are relatively near to us. Among these are the asteroids which are large rocks, having a diameter that can reach miles. These celestial objects have become the talk of town by astronomers, soothsayers, and the public due to fears that if just one of them strikes us, the human race will be wiped out. Scientists are still looking for evidence that support the theory about the extinction of dinosaurs caused by huge asteroid impacts.

It is very important to separate the facts from fiction regarding asteroids. By virtue of popular culture as represented by science fiction books and movies, one of the wildest ideas is that these space objects are allegedly used by aliens to dominate our world. Certain forms of extraterrestrial life are suspected to be found in impact zones, spawning a strange epidemic and causing havoc to humans. However, the most popular concept is asteroids hitting Earth and using our latest technological advances to avert the said disaster.

In order to allay our fears, the scientific community is always conducting research on the nature and composition of these celestial bodies. Their studies have helped us understand the truth about asteroids. These are actually debris that can range from a golf ball up to gigantic rocks as large as continents. Since they have no particular orbits unlike planets and moons, they can and have many times actually struck our planet. Nevertheless, the ones that have penetrated our Earth's atmosphere are called meteorites and these are typically small. Some are known as meteors because have been thoroughly burned and have totally turned to dust. The chances of a direct hit from a giant asteroid are relatively small, but astronomers are not taking this fact for granted. By using giant telescopes that are strategically placed in different sites around the world, they constantly observe the heavens for tell-tale signs of asteroids that may stray into a dangerous collision path with our planet.

Another fact is that an asteroid belt exists between Mars and Jupiter. This is where most asteroids come from. Astronomers have separated these into classes based on their material composition and proximity to the said planets. Those that are the nearest to Mars belong to the Class S, while the ones that are closest to Jupiter are known as Classes C, D, and V. The latter classes are called Centaur asteroids and they have particular material compositions and are known to drift the vast space from Jupiter to Uranus. To gain a first-hand look at these celestial behemoths, scientists have sent space probes to fly near them. The asteroid called Ida was observed by the probe Galileo from a distance of approximately 1,000 miles and was found to have its own moon. Some probes have actually landed on asteroids and have sent amazing photographs for us to enjoy.

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Is there any other way besides radiometric dating to accurately know how old something is?

Also, I would like to know how lets say carbon dating works....specifically...What instrument do I use? How does this instrument work? Is dating **100%** accurate (ie any way it can be disproven?)

Question #3:

"This age has been determined by radiometric age dating of meteorite material and is consistent with the ages of the oldest-known terrestrial and lunar samples."

Why do scientists measure things outside of this earth for its age?

Question #4:

How do certain things have an AGE.....if it all came from a singularity (big bang) and we know matter cannot be created or destroyed....so how can we say this rock is older than that one?

Last question which is why I ask all these questions:

Does biblical science agree with modern science (mainly the age of the earth)

I don't expect you to answer all these, but a few...

Thx in advanced!!
Bonus: What section should I've asked this in? lol

1. Really it depends on how far back you want to go as to what alternative dating methods you may use. For short term dating of archaeological sites, tree ring dating is often used. Further back than a few thousand years I can't think of any other accurate dating methods as most rely on relative positioning of fossils or stratigraphic layers.

2. Carbon dating is based upon the decay of the carbon-14 isotope into Nitrogen-14. Essentially counting the daughter isotope, determining initial ratios and using a calculated decay constant to determine the age. 3 major methods are used for determinging the ratios; proportional counting, Liquid scintillation counting and mass spectrometry. I'm afraid i'm going to be a bit lazy with this and post some links for you to look at, they're only wikipedia but should give you a decent idea:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dating
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proportional_counter
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accelerator_Mass_Spectrometry
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquid_scintillation_counting
There is always an error margin associated with dates, most dates that you will find should state the calculated error margin. As for disproving the concept as a whole, the only way to do it would be to show that the decay constant radically changed over relatively short spaces of time. Alternatively, if there was a new source of carbon-14 after the death of an organism that would also cast doubts (on carbon dating).

3. Rocks from outside the earth are used to test dates found by analysing earth rocks. The majority of objects in the solar system are thought to have formed at the same time so therefore dating rocks from meteorites gives us the time from the formation of the solar system, the time at which the earth itself will have formed. These rocks will not undergo the same processes as those on earth and will therefore have their decay products preserved better (Radiometric dating is based on a "closure temperature" below which daughter isotopes may not escape. Metamorphic proesses have the potential to disperse daughter isotopes, thus resetting the "clock"). Lunar rocks are used because it is thought that the moon was once part of the earth and so the earliest rocks may be preserved.

4. Age is a relative term based on human interpretation. What we mean by age will be the time since something has formed, similar to my age or your age being from the time we were born. A rock formed at a later time will drop below the closure temperature at a later time and therefore be younger. Bear in mind that the mineral will not accumulate daughter isotopes until it drops below the closure temperature.

5. I'm not particulary well versed in biblical science. If you are referring to young earth creationism then modern and biblical science do not agree at all on the age of the earth (4.5 Billion years Vs about 6000). There are some sections which may agree but I'm not aware although I would say that biblical science is based on belief rather than science and it is therefore not a valid comparison. That is just an opinion though.

Bonus: 1 and 3 I think are perfectly valid to ask in this section. 2 may have been better suited to physics. As for 4, that's fair enough in this section and 5, any physical science section or R&S.

That's all of them, do I get a gold star? lol

I hope I've answered most of these to your satisfaction.




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