I was wondering if we have ways of measuring the age of planets.  If so, do we know which planets are oldest and which are youngest?

The ages of igneous rocks can be determined from the decay of radioactive elements.  If we have a sample, we can estimate the age of the planet.  Thus we know the Earth, Moon, Mars, and the asteroid Vesta each formed between 4.5 and 4.6 billion years ago.  We do not have identified samples of other planets for this sort of dating, but the theories of solar formation tell us to expect that ll the planets in the solar system are essentially the same age.

David Morrison

NLSI Interim Director

October 2, 2006

NESF 2020

Lunar Landing Workshop

SSERVI Team Science

  • Paul Spudis to Receive Columbia Medal


    Spudis was selected for his outstanding service as a geologist specializing in the terrestrial planets, with extensive background in geology and planetary science.

Did you know?

If you weigh 120 pounds, you would weigh only 20 pounds on the moon.

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