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Samples of iron meteorite from Canyon Diablo (Meteor Crater) Arizona were found to have the least radiogenic composition of any material in the solar system.
The U/Pb ratio was so low that no radiogenic decay was detected in the isotopic composition.
The oldest known Martian meteorite isn’t so old after all.
Though it’s still the oldest chunk of Mars scientists have ever found, new research suggests the Allan Hills meteorite – officially known as ALH84001 – is about 400 million years younger than previously estimated.
As illustrated in figure 1, this point defines the lower (left) end of the isochron.
Therefore, troilite found in Canyon Diablo represents the primeval lead isotope composition of the solar system, dating back to 4.55 /- 0.07 Byr.
Radioactive elements decay from a “parent” isotope (in this case, samarium) to a “daughter” isotope (neodymium) at a set rate.
The scientific community has since mostly abandoned that idea, as one by one every line of evidence for life has been given a non-biological explanation.“People usually ask me about the life aspect, and I’m so sick to death of that,” says Allan Treiman of the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, who was not involved in the new work.
Treiman and others now believe that what once looked like fossils is actually rock that was shaped by ordinary geological activity.
A new analysis published in the April 15 pegs the meteorite’s age at a mere 4.091 billion years.
Previously the meteorite was commonly accepted to have formed 4.51 billion years ago, when the planet’s surface was still solidifying out of its primordial magma ocean.