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Science. 2005 Dec 9;310(5754):1671-4. Epub 2005 Nov 24.

Hf-W chronometry of lunar metals and the age and early differentiation of the Moon.

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Zentrallabor für Geochronologie, Institut für Mineralogie, Corrensstrasse 24, D-48149 Münster, Germany.

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  • Science. 2006 Jan 13;311(5758):177.


The use of hafnium-tungsten chronometry to date the Moon is hampered by cosmogenic tungsten-182 production mainly by neutron capture of tantalum-181 at the lunar surface. We report tungsten isotope data for lunar metals, which contain no 181Ta-derived cosmogenic 182W. The data reveal differences in indigenous 182W/184W of lunar mantle reservoirs, indicating crystallization of the lunar magma ocean 4.527 +/- 0.010 billion years ago. This age is consistent with the giant impact hypothesis and defines the completion of the major stage of Earth's accretion.

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