Earth's Formation

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  • Lets say I have two rocks, how do I know which one is older?
  • Well there are many ways to determine the age of rocks.
  • What are some of those methods?
  • One method is the law of superposition. This law states that layers of rock above another layer of rock are younger than the layer below it.
  • Are there anymore methods?
  • Indeed there are Laura, another common method to identify the age of rocks is radiometric dating. Radiometric dating uses the half lifes of radioactive isotopes to determine the age of a sample, not just rocks.
  • How are we able to find the composition of solar system objects? 
  • Well after finding that of our own planet we can infer that other planets must have similar elements since they are relatively close and formed from the same solar nebula. 
  • We also able to find the composition of planets we have visited using soil samples from manned missions or rovers.
  • Why does the moon have so many more craters then we do?
  • Thanks to telescopes and rovers we are able to observe and measure craters on not only the moon but other celestial bodies as well.  As I mentioned earlier, due to Earth's plate tectonics the crust is constantly changing and therefore the vast majority of craters on Earth disappear. 
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