By studying other planets, we are learning more about our own planet.
The effects of impacts and how they might affect us here on Earth, global climate change (Venus vs.
Once the half life of an isotope and its decay path are known, it is possible to use the radioactive decay for dating the substance (rock) it belongs to, by measuring the amount of parent and daughter contained in the sample.
An important point is that we must have an idea of how much of the daughter isotope was in the sample before the decay started.
We have an activity in one of the PSI workshops "Exploring the Terrestrial Planets," that deals with this topic.
In nature, all elements have atoms with varying numbers of neutrons in their nucleus.
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.
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?
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.
The number of protons usually determines the element the atom belongs to and it is fixed for any particular element.
Earth) and what could happen to Earth in an extreme case, etc.