Oldest Object Ever Found on Earth Points to Solar System Being Nearly Two Million Years Older than Thought

Uesc_09_img0528 The Solar System could be nearly two million years older than thought, based on evidence comes from a 1.49-kilo (3.2-pound) meteorite, found in the Moroccan desert in 2004, that contains a "relict" mineral, which is one of the oldest solid materials formed after the birth of the Sun. Analysis of lead isotopes suggest the mineral was formed 4.45682 billion years ago, making the meteorite the oldest object ever found.

As a result, the Solar System is likely to be between 300,000 and 1.9 million years older than previous estimates, says the paper, authored by Audrey Bouvier and Meenakshi Wadhwa of Arizona State University's the Center for Meteorite Studies.

The age of the Solar System can be defined as the time of formation of the first solid grains in the nebular disc surrounding the early proto-Sun. This age is estimated by dating calcium–aluminium-rich inclusions in meteorites. These inclusions are considered as the earliest formed solids in the solar nebula. Their formation marks the beginning for several long- and short-lived radiogenic clocks that are used to precisely define the timescales of Solar System events, such as the formation and evolution of planetary bodies.


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