By studying other planets, we are learning more about our own planet.
The effects of impacts and how they might affect us here on Earth, global climate change (Venus vs.
When the number of neutrons is not in balance with the protons then the atom of that particular element is said to be unstable.
These differing atoms are called isotopes and they are represented by the sum of protons and neutrons in the nucleus. Carbon has 6 protons in its nucleus, but the number of neutrons its nucleus can host range from 6 to 8.
We thus have three different isotopes of carbon: Carbon-12 with 6 protons and 6 neutrons in the nucleus, Carbon-13 with 6 protons and 7 neutrons in the nucleus, Carbon-14 with 6 protons and 8 neutrons in the nucleus.
Carbon is unreactive with a number of common lab substances: sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid, chlorine, or any of the alkalis.
It does burn in oxygen, and if you can pass the combusted gas through limewater, the carbon dioxide will turn the limewater milky by producing calcium carbonate.
So, Carbon-14 can only measure things up to just over 50,000 years old, great for determining when someone built a wood fire, but not good for determining the age of a meteorite. It occurs whenever an atom has an unbalanced number of protons and neutrons in its nucleus.
The number of protons usually determines the element the atom belongs to and it is fixed for any particular element.
On the other hand, the number of neutrons that can be contained in the nucleus can vary.
When the number of neutrons is in balance with the number of protons (which does not necessarily means that the number of neutrons has to be exactly the same as the number of protons) then the atoms of a particular element is said to be stable.
Earth) and what could happen to Earth in an extreme case, etc.