Did you know that meteorites are older than the Earth?

By · April 9, 2010 · Filed in Age of Meteorites, Did You Know???

Welcome to the “Did You Know” series! This is a series of posts that will help to answer your questions about meteorites, meteorite hunting, and even some things about space. I hope that you will join me and follow along with the series… and check back often to see which question I have answered next. I hope you enjoy today’s post.

There are not many things older than Earth, which is estimated to be approximately 4.54 billion years old (Wikipedia). It is easier for me to comprehend the magnitude of this number by writing it out with all of its digits – 4,540,000,000 years old. That’s pretty old, but the Sun is even older at 4.57 billion years or 4,570,000,000 years of age. That means that the Sun was formed about 30 million years before the Earth. Then, sometime between the formation of the sun and the Earth, meteoroids are estimated to have been forming and moving silently through space. Allot of  these meteoroids combined together and formed the Earth and the other planets. Estimates for the mass of material that falls to the Earth each year ranges from 37,000 to 78,000 tons. Most recent estimates are saying that some early meteoroids could have been about 4.567 billion years, or 4,567,000,000 years – 3 million years older than the Earth.

That is still an almost incomprehensible amount of time. So, if you ever have the chance to hold a meteorite (or better yet collect them), you can rest assured knowing that you have touched an amazing and historical piece of our galaxy. Although it might not be 4,567,000,000 years old, ( But probably close ) you still are holding something very old, very rare, and very much a part of our galaxy – something that has been to places that we as humans have not had the opportunity to visit. Amazing!!!

Coming in the next “Did You Know” post……… I will share some insight about meteorites from the moon and Mars.

Here’s to the Perfect Hunt!