It turns out the moon is a little younger than previously thought ̵
In a new study, researchers at the German Aerospace Center found that the moon didn’t just have one massive, fiery magma ocean, but our rocky satellite was also formed later than previously expected by scientists.
Billions of years ago a protoplanet the size of Mars struck the young earth and in the midst of the debris and cosmic debris a new rocky body was formed – our moon. In this new work, the researchers reconstructed the time axis of moon formation. While scientists previously assumed that this moon-forming collision occurred 4.51 billion years ago, the new work only determined the birth of the moon 4.425 billion years ago.
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To determine this 85 million year error in the moon age, the team used mathematical models to calculate the composition of the moon over time. Based on the idea that the moon was home to a massive magma ocean, the researchers calculated how the minerals that formed as the magma cooled over time solidified. By following the magma ocean timeline, the scientists were able to trace their way back to the moon formation.
“By comparing the measured composition of the moon rocks with the predicted composition of the magma ocean from our model, we were able to trace the development of the ocean back to its starting point, the time of moon formation,” said co-author Sabrina Schwinger, researcher at German Aerospace Center, said in a statement.
These results, which show that the moon was formed 4.425 billion years ago (give or take 25 million years ago), are consistent with previous research that has made moon formation consistent with the formation of the metallic core of the earth.
“This is the first time that the age of the moon can be directly linked to an event that took place at the end of earth formation, namely the formation of the nucleus,” said Thorsten Kleine, professor at the Institute of Planetology at the University of Münster in Germany said in the same statement.
This knowledge were described in a new study published July 10 in Science Advances.
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