Rocks of age: The surface of the moon is millions of years older than scientists previously thought
A crater on the moon formed millions of years earlier than previously thought
The moon’s surface is much older than experts previously thought.
This discovery meant that they had a better understanding of when its cratered landscape ended up 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 probably formed by the collision of an asteroid around the size of Sicily, and the team now says it was 4.1 billion years ago, not 3.9 billion years ago as originally thought.
Researchers in Norway and France say they have found a way to reconcile different systems of dating the surface of Earth’s satellites, including the use of rock samples from the Apollo landings.
A giant crater on the moon’s surface was likely created by an asteroid impact 4.1 billion years ago (File photo: Earth lies behind the moon’s surface)
Presenting the work at the Goldschmidt Geochemistry Conference in Lyon, Professor Stephanie Werner of the Center for Planetary Habitability at the University of Oslo said: ‘What we’ve done is show that large parts of the lunar crust are about 200 million years older than they were. It has been thought.’
The researchers emphasized that their findings do not change estimates of the moon’s age, only estimates of its surface and when it was hit by massive debris from space.
Professor Warner said: ‘This is an important distinction. This allows us to push back in time an intense period of bombardment from space, which we now know occurred before widespread volcanic activity.
‘Since this happened on the Moon, it was almost certain that the Earth had also been subjected to this earlier bombardment.’
New research suggests that the Imbrium Basin formed between 3.9 billion and 4.1 billion years ago, as previously thought (File Photo: Craters on the Moon)