The moon is actually 85 million years old, according to a new study published in Science Advances on Friday younger than we once thought.
The age of the moon is a controversial topic. It wasn’t until 2017 that a study by UCLA researchers claimed that the moon was older than we once thought. At that time, the team suspected that the moon was 4.51 billion years old and formed only 60 million years after our solar system was formed.
New research carried out by researchers from the German Aerospace Center brings moon formation back to 4.425 billion years. There seems to be a little difference in perspective, but 85 million years is a long time in everyone’s book.
To determine the age, the scientists used a new computer model that was used to examine in more detail how long it took the giant magma ocean of the moon to cool down and crystallize. Yes that’s true. The moon was once home to a huge magma ocean.
“The results of the model show that the moon’s magma ocean was long-lived and took almost 200 million years to fully solidify into mantle rock,” said Maxime Maurice, the scientist who led the study.
“The timescale is much longer than calculated in previous studies,” added Nicola Tosi, co-author of the study. “Older models gave a setting time of only 35 million years.”
Which also means that the moon was once the host of a terrible pristine magma ocean longer than we thought. Gnarly.