A new study has assumed that previous estimates of the lunar age were millions of years away.
So the moon was actually born at the end of the earth formation.
How the moon was made
Many scientists agree on the history of the formation of the moon: About 4.51 billion years ago, the earth was still warming and changing rapidly. During this time, it collided with a protoplanet called Theia, which launched rocks from Earth into space.
Theia takes its name from one of the titans in Greek mythology, known as the mother of the moon goddess Selene. Nothing remains of the protoplanet.
These debris eventually accumulated over a few thousand years and formed the earth’s natural satellite – the moon.
The energy that resulted from the agglomeration of rock created an ocean of magma on the surface of the emerging moon. It eventually crystallized and formed the surface of the moon as we know it today.
How to age a 4 billion year old astral body
Samples returned from the moon during the Apollo missions and the Soviet Luna robot missions have not helped provide data for an exact age of the moon. So scientists had to research other methods.
Using a computer model, the team of scientists estimated how long it took the moon’s magma ocean to cool and solidify. Knowing how long this crystallization process took, showed her how old the moon really is.
Previous models estimated that it took up to 30 million years for the magma ocean to cool down. This new study showed that these models were millions of years away.
But how can you restore a process that took place at the beginning of the existence of the solar system? This part required “a lot of imagination and creativity,” said the researchers.
The scientists also had to calculate the composition of the old minerals that formed when the ocean solidified. This helped them combine different types of rock with certain stages of the development of the magma ocean.
All of these models showed that the moon took almost 200 million years to cool off from its molten form and create what we know today as the lunar crust.
Scientists examined the mineral composition of the moon to estimate that the moon is approximately 4.425 billion years old or 85 million years younger than was found in previous studies. That’s about the time the Earth’s core settled, the researchers said.
CNN’s Ashley Strickland contributed to this report.