Nickel-59 is a long-lived cosmogenic radionuclide with a half-life of
80,000 years. 59Ni has found many applications in isotope geology.
59Ni has been used to date the terrestrial age of meteorites
and to determine abundances of extraterrestrial dust in ice and sediment.
Nickel-60 is the daughter product of the extinct radionuclide 60Fe
(half-life = 1.5 Myr). Because the extinct radionuclide 60Fe
had such a long half-life, its persistence in solar-system materials
at high enough concentrations may have generated observable variations
in the isotopic composition of 60Ni. Therefore, the abundance
of 60Ni present in extraterrestrial material may provide
insight into the origin of the solar system and its early history.
Shukolyukov and Lugmair (1993) found excess 60Ni in meteorites,
suggesting that 60Fe was still alive at the time of differentiation.
Isochron correlations between 60Ni/58Ni and
Fe/Ni also confirm this conclusion.
Source of text: This review was assembled by Eric Caldwell,
primarily from Dicken (1995) and Faure (1986).
||Dicken, A.P. (1995). Radiogenic Isotope Geology. Cambridge University
Press, New York, 452 p.
||Faure, G. (1986). Principles of Isotope Geology, Second Edition.
John Wiley and Sons, New York. 589 p.
||Shukolyukov, A. and Lugmair, G.W. (1993). "Live iron-60 in the
early solar system." Science, 259: 1138-1142.