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The Earth is clearly old, but exactly how old was difficult to work out. People long believed the Earth had only existed for several thousand years. Then, in the 1800's, a study of geological features (including fjords) led scientists to the conclusion that the planet must be much older - at least millions of years old. Later, the discovery of radioactivity provided a mechanism by which the Earth's core could be continually heated. This meant it was much older than previous estimates of 20-40 million years based on the cooling rate of the Earth. Today through many different methods we have established that the Earth is roughly 4.54 billion years old!