A photo of Earth's moon in space.
Is the Moon nearly the same age as the Earth? (Photo Credit: CC BY-ND/Maximilian Wolf/Fotocommunity)

Analysis of moon rock samples from NASA’s Apollo lunar landings has dug up something quite surprising about the moon, reports Space.com. Radiocarbon dating of ferroan anorthosites (FANs) from among the rock samples of the lunar crust places their age at 4.36 billion years old. This means the moon may be as many as 200 million years younger than thought.

Moon FANs have been difficult to date

According to a study published in the Aug. 17 issue of the journal Nature, Moon FANs have been difficult to date accurately. Yet new and improved dating methods that analyze lead, samarium and neodymium isotopes within the carefully purified moon rock samples are significantly more precise, said planetary scientist Dr. Lars Borg of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, Calif.

“We can apply this technique to address many questions regarding the timing of ancient events on the moon,” he said.

Redefining what we think we know about the moon

Dr. Richard Carlson of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C., suggests that the FAN study opens up new avenues of thought regarding the moon and its place in our solar system.

“The extraordinarily young age of this lunar sample either means that the moon solidified significantly later than previous estimates, or that we need to change our entire understanding of the moon’s geochemical history,” said Carlson.

The revelation regarding the age of the lunar crust rocks also suggests that the oldest crusts on Earth and the moon formed at roughly the same time. But greater sample sizes are needed to form more detailed conclusions.

“Lunar science is limited by the amount of samples we have,” said Borg.

Opposing theories on the moon

Numerous scientists have viewed Borg’s conclusion regarding lunar age with suspicion. Some believe a small molten rock ocean that may once have existed on the moon could explain the age discrepancy, as during that time a few billion years ago, scientists believe the moon was bombarded by a great deal of interstellar debris. Dr. Clive Neal of the University of Notre Dame in Indiana is among the most notable scientists to subscribe to this opposing theory.

“I remain to be convinced that the moon is as young as suggested by this paper,” said Neal.

The birth of the moon


Carnegie Institution for Science: http://carnegiescience.edu/

International Business Times: http://bit.ly/re3n2S

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory: https://www.llnl.gov/

Space.com: http://www.space.com/12658-moon-younger-lunar-age-evidence.html

Vancouver Sun: http://bit.ly/pgOXFk

Post By bryanh (1,420 Posts)


Do you have a fantastic idea related to this article, but just don't have the money you need to start your own company or side-business? Get the loans you need from https://personalmoneynetwork.com to help get your new company underway, from the small loan professionals at PersonalMoneyNetwork.

PG&E to pay $70 million for pipeline tragedy

PG&E to pay $70 million for pipeline tragedy

Pacific Gas and Electric Co., a northern California utility, has agreed to pay $70 million to the California town of San Bruno for a pipeline explosion that killed eight people in 2010. Company says it’s remorseful The San Francisco-based power company’s president, Chris Johns, released a statement Monday, saying PG&E is sorry and eager to […]

Judge stabbed and deputy shot in Washington courthouse

Grays Harbor County Courthouse

Following a standoff in a Washington state county courtroom Friday, a man reportedly escaped after shooting a sheriff’s deputy in the shoulder and stabbing a judge in the neck. The man is still at large. Treachery among the tree farms The incident occurred Friday afternoon in the western Washington town of Montesano, which bills itself […]

Microraptor was one flashy little dinosaur

Microraptor fossil

A team of Chinese and American scientists have found that Microraptor, a small four winged dinosaur that went extinct about 130 million years ago, was likely black and almost certainly had glossy, iridescent feathers. Until now, the coloring of extinct creatures was a matter of pure speculation. That may no longer be the case. The […]

Autocorrected message leads to school lockdown

Homage to the Sun

Adjacent schools in Georgia were locked down for two hours Wednesday after a text message reportedly warned of a “gunman” on campus. Later, it was learned that the message was the result of a smartphone autocorrect function, attempting to “fix” the misspelled slang word “gunna.” A series of mixups A series of mixups led to […]