The age of the moon was long thought to be 4.42 billion years, but new study casts doubt on this estimate. APT, an advanced technology, was employed in a study to assess zircon crystals that date back 4.2 billion years from the lunar sample 72255.

Unveiling the Moon’s True Age

  • The Significance of Zircon: Not only is zircon the oldest mineral on Earth, but it also contains important clues regarding the genesis of our planet.
  • Head of the Clustering Analysis: The scientists examined the lead clustering in the samples using nanoscale spatial resolution, which is a widely used technique to determine the age of zircon in rocks.
  • Revised Age: Based on the findings, it is most likely that the moon formed in the first 110 million years of the solar system, or 4.46 billion years ago.
  • When comparing the ages of Earth and the moon, the former is thought to be somewhat older at 4.46 billion years old, while the latter is considered to be between 4.5 and 4.6 billion years old.

Implications of Zircon and Lunar Formation

  • The Giant Impact Hypothesis: According to this theory, Earth was formed when a heavenly body called Theia—possibly the size of Mars—collided with it. The moon was formed by the debris that was thrown from this impact.
  • Moon’s inner composition was influenced by the creation of the Lunar Magma Ocean as a result of this impact.
  • Zircon Preserved: The earliest crust was altered by later lunar surface bombardments, which resulted in some zircon crystals being preserved and others being transformed. Knowing the identity of these preserved zircon crystals revealed information about the moon’s age.

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