Extinct 244Pu from ancient zircons

Turner, Grenville and Harrison, T. Mark and Holland, Greg and Mojzsis, Stephen J. and Gilmour, Jamie (2004) Extinct 244Pu from ancient zircons. Science, 306 (5693). pp. 89-91. ISSN 0036-8075

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We have found evidence, in the form of fissiogenic xenon isotopes, for in situ decay of 244Pu in individual 4.1- to 4.2-billion-year-old zircons from the Jack Hills region of Western Australia. Because of its short half-life, 82 million years, 244Pu was extinct within 600 million years of Earth's formation. Detrital zircons are the only known relics to have survived from this period, and a study of their Pu geochemistry will allow us to date ancient metamorphic events and determine the terrestrial Pu/U ratio for comparison with the solar ratio.

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20 Jun 2012 12:36
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21 Nov 2022 22:25