Astronomy Cast Ep. 522: Judging Age & Origins – Pt. 1 Earth Rocks

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Join +Fraser Cain and +Pamela Gay for a live episode of Astronomy Cast. We’ll record our 30-minute show, and then stay tuned for them to answer questions!

People always want to know how old everything is. And more specifically, they want to know how we know how old everything is. Well, here at Astronomy Cast, it’s our job to tell you now only what we know, but how we know what we know. And today we’ll begin a series on how we know how old everything is.

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Comments

David Sims says:

St. Igneous, pray for us!

MoOrion says:

I've never gotten (and still haven't) a satisfactory answer to how you know there was no lead or other daughter materials in the sample at the point in time it became lodged in the rock… (about uranium dating methods) That Uranium spent a long long time drifting through space after it was created… all the while decaying into its daughter elements. No sample on Earth that hasn't been refined by humans to purify it should ever be without daughter elements. Unless there is some natural mineral formation process I'm not aware of and no one I've asked this question of is aware of either that rejects the daughter elements during the formation process… thus providing a knowable start point to use for dating. Fraser tried to ask this question and the answer was … not an answer. So the question remains. If anyone does have the answer I'd love to hear it. As it stands I don't see how the uranium dating methods can be dating any events on Earth… and would rather be dating the uranium's creation … or actually the average creation time of the multiple sources for uranium that came together in the nebula that our system ultimately formed out of.

duncansargent says:

Why not recycle satellites and other space junk? Surely they are a good resource of precious metals and readily refined materials? Would it not be a better idea rather than crashing them back to Earth to have some point, maybe a higher orbit, wherever, where they can be collected up until there is a critical mass of them take them to a place to recycle them. Maybe this could be a future Moon or near Moon facility so as to make getting things on and off the surface in order to be recycled easier. Obviously this is not something we have at the moment but given the return to the Moon project it could be a good thing to do there. Also just because we cannot do it yet does not mean we should not start collecting them up ready for a few years time when we can and then we could hit the ground running?

PhysicsPolice says:

10:20 Oh, many, wait until you get to the end of the third book. Officially my favorite ending to any book, ever.

PhysicsPolice says:

Recording begins 8:35

Orlando Saint-Sebastien says:

Dr Gay's dog is secretly ordering things off Amazon and getting them delivered whilst she is otherwise occupied.

TheEnrieb says:

Aww poor Pamela 🙁 I hope Puppy hugs gets you through this.

I had laser eye surgery years ago and it was like that scene in Fire In the Sky. Then I had to walk around with sunglasses on for 3 days and try not to brutally murder anyone who made a stupid comment.

zapfanzapfan says:

Hmm, f***ing DST screws me again…

Stromatolites, not strombolites…

One of the best uses of Uranium/Lead is in zircons. Uranium but not Lead can come into the crystal structure of a zircon when it is made so therefore all Lead in it has decayed from Uranium.

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