This tendency to decay, called radioactivity, is what gives radiocarbon the name radiocarbon.
The atmosphere contains many stable carbon atoms and relatively few radiocarbon atoms.
ASTEROIDS: Scientists have discovered a very large asteroid impact site in Antarctica.
As little as 200 years ago mainstream English speaking scientist did not believe that stones fell from the sky contrary to all the anecdotal evidence over the past centuries.
National Geographic reports that scientist Dallas Abbott from Columbia University has been gathering data and announcing for the past ten years that a giant tsunami deposited ocean floor sediment on Madigascar.
The sediments cover an area 2 times the size of Manhattan and are over 600 feet tall.
Part of the result of these collisions is the production of radiocarbon (C, pronounced "c fourteen"), carbon atoms which are chemically the same as stable carbon, but have two extra neutrons.
Animals and people eat plants and take in carbon-14 as well.
click here to see the profile of the bottom of the lake!
Whats at the bottom might be shattered rocks or impact melt or maybe a piece of meteorite.
The technique hinges on carbon-14, a radioactive isotope of the element that, unlike other more stable forms of carbon, decays away at a steady rate.
Organisms capture a certain amount of carbon-14 from the atmosphere when they are alive.