To confirm Earth’s age, the team compared elements in its mantle to those in meteorites that are the same age as the Solar System.
The group reports its findings in the journal Nature Geosciences.
The crux of its conclusion was that the formation of the planet took much longer than previously thought.
The scientists studied this timescale by looking at how long Earth took to “accrete”, or grow, as smaller “planetary embryos” smashed together to form it.
“The collisions caused part of the planet to melt, and allow metal to segregate to the centre of the Earth to form the core,” explained Dr John Rudge, from Cambridge University, UK, who led the research.
“So [during this process], the planet differentiated into its molten metal core and outer-lying mantle.”
The longer this process took, the later the Earth was “born” in its current size and geological form.