A new study by scientists at the Southwest Research Institute describes how they expanded the capabilities of the Chemistry Organic and Dating Experiment (CODEX) prototype space flight instrument, designed for field dating of extraterrestrial material. CODEX now uses two different dating approaches based on rubidium-strontium and lead-lead geochronology methods. The instrument uses Laser Ablation Resonance Ionization Mass Spectrometry (LARIMS) to obtain dates using these methods.
“The central goal of CODEX is to better understand some of the outstanding questions in the chronology of the solar system, such as the duration of the heavy meteoroid bombardment or how long Mars was potentially habitable,” said F. Scott Anderson, scientist of SwRI, which is leading the development. of the instrument.
“In a way, we gave CODEX a binocular view in the meetings,” said Jonathan Levine, associate professor of physics at Colgate University and Anderson’s contributor on CODEX. “When you can look at something from two different perspectives, you get a deeper view of the object you are examining, whether you are using your eyes or any other tool. In dating planetary specimens, or any rock for that matter, the same is true …
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