Adult club member dating - Whats up relative age dating

There's no absolute age-dating method that works from orbit, and although scientists are working on age-dating instruments small enough to fly on a lander (I'm looking at you, Barbara Cohen), nothing has launched yet. Relative age dating has given us the names we use for the major and minor geologic time periods we use to split up the history of Earth and all the other planets.When you talk about the Precambrian, Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic on Earth, or the Noachian, Hesperian, and Amazonian for Mars, these are all relative ages.There are absolute ages and there are relative ages. We use a variety of laboratory techniques to figure out absolute ages of rocks, often having to do with the known rates of decay of radioactive elements into detectable daughter products.

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An absolute age is one determined usually by mass-spectrometry where an isotope is measured and then an age can be calculated (a very very basic explanation).

So in the end you can say this fossil is 50 thousand years old (always with an associated uncertainty).

The simplest is the law of superposition: if thing A is deposited on top of (or cuts across, or obliterates) thing B, then thing B must have been there already when thing A happened, so thing B is older than thing A.

We have no idea how much older thing B is, we just know that it's older.

This is called the chronostratigraphic time scale -- that is, the division of time (the "chrono-" part) according to the relative position in the rock record (that's "stratigraphy").

The science of paleontology, and its use for relative age dating, was well-established before the science of isotopic age-dating was developed.That's why geologic time is usually diagramed in tall columnar diagrams like this.Just like a stack of sedimentary rocks, time is recorded in horizontal layers, with the oldest layer on the bottom, superposed by ever-younger layers, until you get to the most recent stuff on the tippy top.Here's the next step in that journey: the Geologic Time Scales of Earth and the Moon.In the science of geology, there are two main ways we use to describe how old a thing is or how long ago an event took place. When you say that I am 38 years old or that the dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago, or that the solar system formed 4.6 billion years ago, those are absolute ages.When you talk about something happening in the Precambrian or the Cenozoic or the Silurian or Eocene, you are talking about something that happened when a certain kind of fossil life was present.

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