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The methods work because radioactive elements are unstable, and they are always trying to move to a more stable state. This process by which an unstable atomic nucleus loses energy by releasing radiation is called radioactive decay.
Learn about half-life and how it is used in different dating methods, such as uranium-lead dating and radiocarbon dating, in this video lesson. As we age, our hair turns gray, our skin wrinkles and our gait slows.Some of the material blasted into space coalesced to form Earth's nearest neighbor, the thinking goes.But it's been hard to pin down exactly when this impact, or these impacts, occurred, Barboni said.That's because the rocks collected by Apollo astronauts and studied by scientists tend to be breccias — jumbles of different rock types mashed together by meteorite strikes (which are very common on the lunar surface, because the moon has almost no atmosphere to burn up falling space rocks)."You don't have pristine, old rock preserved on the moon," Barboni said.
Uranium is the heaviest and last naturally occurring element in the periodic table.