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Discussion » Statements » Rosie's Corner » Don't know if it's important. Rare plutonium-244 found in space was found in earth's ocean bottom. How'd it get there?

Don't know if it's important. Rare plutonium-244 found in space was found in earth's ocean bottom. How'd it get there?

Posted - May 15


  • 3083
    All the elements on the Earth, and indeed forming it, were created originally by nuclear fusion in dying stars that also threw the material out into Space. The heavy elements' atoms require so much energy to fuse into heavier ones that it takes the collapse of a really massive star, in a violent burst called a 'supernova', to do that.

    I don't know this particular case, but I take it the scientists have not worked out the Plutonium's source. It  might have arrived as meteorite material or it might have been here all along.  To test the latter idea I looked it up...

    The half-life of Plutonium 244 is about 83 million years, not ever so long in geology and astronomy (though its less stable isotopes last far shorter times) but I suppose what's been found might be traces of plutonium here in the Earth's original accretion. Plutonium decays to an isotope of Uranium, and it's the decay of Uranium that is the planet's main internal heat source.  

    If what's been found is on or in the sea floor's deep layers of sediment, I suppose it could been expelled from the Earth's interior by volcanic activity, including perhaps hydrothermal vents.

    Your question has intrigued me - I would like to know more! 
      May 17, 2021 5:20 PM MDT

  • 108903
    Thank for your thoughtful helpful and informative reply Durdle. But you know what jumped out? A HALF LIFE OF 83 million years. So a whole life is twice that? How is it possible that decay of ANYTHING can take that long? And how do "they" know it isn't one billion or 20 million? On what foundation is anything that enormous based? I get stuck on things like that and I can't seem to get beyond it. Will there be anything sentient still here in 83 million years? Oh. I'm going to ask a question about our government finally admitting there are UFOS or whatever they are being called. They denied it for decades and covered stuff up while they collected evidence. Now apparently pols are demanding to take it up and have explained what we know and what we don't. Should be interesting. Happy Tuesday to thee and thine m'dear! :)
      May 18, 2021 2:41 AM MDT