Dating planetary surfaces ecu dating east carolina
Assuming we could do it safely, it would also be great to send scientists to study other planets, but the cost would be truly astronomical!
A more affordable approach is to send robotic spacecraft to study the planets and send data back to Earthbound scientists for analysis. What was the first mission to explore a planet other than Earth or the moon?
Scientists must make inferenceseducated guessesabout surface processes based on the limited information available.
Fortunately, we can safely and economically study one planet in detail Earth.
When did this occur, and which planet did it visit?
“Knowing what it is makes me excited to see it every time,” Anderson says.Over the past few decades, planetary scientists have mapped the Solar System in ever more staggering detail.Cameras orbiting the Moon and Mars can zoom in on objects as small as dinner plates, and radars can penetrate several metres below the surface.What sets Anderson's system apart is his goal to shrink the whole operation down to something that would fit on a desktop.Then, rather than waiting for planetary fragments to fall to Earth, he wants to send his device to the planets.Zigzagging across his laboratory is a web of laser beams that feed into a mass spectrometer — all part of a geochronometer that Anderson is building.Like other rock-dating systems, this one computes an age from the radioactive decay of certain isotopes in a sample.In a plastic case is a greenish-grey rock, a 4.5-billion-year-old piece of the asteroid Vesta.Next to it rests a dark sliver of 2.8-billion-year-old lava from the Moon.But when it comes to the fourth dimension — time — they are as blind as ever. Without dates, planetary scientists can only make educated guesses about some of their most pressing questions.Scientists have hard dates for only nine places in the Solar System, all on the Moon: six Apollo sites and three Soviet Luna sites, from which samples were returned robotically. A portable, in situ chronometer such as Anderson's could revolutionize how researchers study the Moon, Mars or other rocky bodies.