ArticlesAge Measurements

Age of the Moon: An Isotopic Study of Uranium-Thorium-Lead Systematics of Lunar Samples

Science  30 Jan 1970:
Vol. 167, Issue 3918, pp. 461-463
DOI: 10.1126/science.167.3918.461

Abstract

Concentrations of U, Th, and Pb in Apollo 11 samples studied are low (U. 0.16 to 0.87; Th, 0.53 to 3.4; Pb, 0.29 to 1.7, in ppm) but the extremely radiogenic lead in samples allows radiometric dating. The fine dust and the breccia have a concordant age of 4.66 billion years on the basis of 207Pb/206Pb, 206Pb/238U, 207Pb/235U, and208Pb/232Th ratios. This age is comparable with the age of meteorites and with the age generally accepted for the earth. Six crystalline and vesicular samples are distinctly younger than the dust and breccia. The 238U/235U ratio is the same as that in earth rocks, and 234U is in radioactive equilibrium with parent 238U.