The moon is still old | Science News

ADVERTISEMENT

SUPPORT SCIENCE NEWS

Science News is a nonprofit.

Help us keep you informed.


News in Brief

The moon is still old

More precise dating of Apollo 14 moon rocks pegs age at 4.51 billion years

By
2:00pm, January 11, 2017
Moon

WHAT’S MY AGE AGAIN?  The moon formed about 4.51 billion years ago, a new analysis of lunar rocks reveals.

The moon formed at least 4.51 billion years ago, no more than 60 million years after the formation of the solar system, researchers report online January 11 in Science Advances. This update to the moon’s age is in line with some previous estimates (SN Online: 4/17/15), although some argue the moon formed 150 million to 200 million years after the solar system’s birth.

A precise age is important for understanding how Earth evolved and how the solar system behaved in its formative years, says study coauthor Melanie Barboni, a geologist at UCLA. “If we want to understand other solar systems,” she says, “the first thing we have to do is understand ours.”

A run-in between Earth and something roughly the size of Mars is thought to be responsible for the creation of

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now. Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from the Science News Archives

From the Nature Index Paid Content