Observation that the moon is older than previously thought. An analysis of samples collected by the Apollo 17 mission revealed that the moon is more than 40 million years older than previously thought.
The Moon is thought to have formed when a Mars-sized object collided with Earth during the formation of the Solar System, about 4 billion years ago. But the timing of this is debated.
According to the information provided by the University of Chicago, the moon was estimated to be about 446 billion years old. According to a new study published in the journal Geochemical Perspectives Letters, the Moon is 40 million years older than previously thought. In 1972, scientists analyzed samples collected by the Apollo 17 astronauts to date the moon’s formation. Scientists say samples from the moon that scientists have examined contain crystals that formed hundreds of billions of years ago.
Scientists have observed that the moon’s surface was later transformed into rock that was melted by the energy of a Mars-sized object hitting the Earth.
Crystals do not form on the surface where the energy from the collision melts into magma. So they must have formed on the lunar surface after the lunar magma had cooled. Professor Philip Heck of the University of Chicago, who led the research study, says.
If the crystals formed after the formation of the magma ocean, it would be possible to estimate the moon’s age along with their age. The scientists used an analytical method called ‘atom probe tomography’ to estimate the age of the crystals found in the samples. Studies about the Moon will also help us understand more about our Earth.