Dating the universe

Its crust is continually being created, modified, and destroyed.As a result, rocks that record its earliest history have not been found and probably no longer exist.Fighting the expansion of the Universe itself, the light has had its wavelength stretched out until it gets to us in the form of microwaves.Planck gathered that light for over 15 months, using instruments far more sensitive than ever before.However, to draw this conclusion we have to assume that the rate of cratering has been the same in the past as it is now.And there are now good reasons for thinking that it might have been quite intense in the past, in which case the craters do not indicate an old age at all (see below).

dating the universe-17dating the universe-64dating the universe-73

The basics of it are that all material radioactively decays into a stable isotope.Some of this light comes from stars, some from cold clumps of dust, some from exploding stars and galaxies. This light was first emitted when the Universe was very young, about 380,000 years old.It was blindingly bright, but in its eons-long travel to us has dimmed and reddened.All rocks and minerals contain long-lived radioactive elements that were incorporated into Earth when the Solar System formed.These radioactive elements constitute independent clocks that allow geologists to determine the age of the rocks in which they occur.

Leave a Reply