Rock of the Ages: The Moon’s Surface Is Hundreds Of Millions Of Years Older Than Scientists Previously Thought
- A crater on the Moon formed millions of years earlier than previously thought
- The crater was created through a collision with an asteroid the size of Sicily.
The Moon’s surface is much older than experts had previously estimated.
The discovery means they have a better understanding of when their cratered landscape ended the way it did.
The researchers point to a giant indentation called the Imbrium Basin, believed to be one of the largest craters in our solar system, as an example of their findings.
It was likely created by the collision of an asteroid the size of Sicily and the team now say it dates to 4.1 billion years ago instead of 3.9 billion years ago as originally thought.
Researchers from Norway and France say they have found a way to coordinate different systems of dating the surface of Earth’s satellite, including using rock samples from the Apollo landings.
A giant crater on the Moon’s surface was likely created by an asteroid crashing into it 4.1 billion years ago (File photo: Moon’s surface with Earth behind)
Presenting the work at the Goldschmidt Geochemistry Conference in Lyon, Professor Stephanie Werner, from the University of Oslo’s Center for Planetary Habitability, said: “What we have done is show that large portions of the lunar crust have around 200 million of years more than before”. been thought.
The researchers emphasize that their findings do not change estimates of the moon’s age, only the estimate of its surface and when it was hit by giant debris from space.
Professor Werner said: ‘This is an important difference. It allows us to turn back in time an intense period of bombardment from space, which we now know took place before extensive volcanic activity.
“Since this happened on the Moon, it was almost certain that the Earth suffered from this earlier bombardment as well.”
New research suggests the Imbrium basin was created 4.1 billion years ago instead of 3.9 billion years ago, as previously thought (File photo: Craters on the Moon)