Science: The moon is 85 million years younger than previously thought – My Comments

[When I was younger and fascinated by astronomy, there was a big debate about the origins of the Moon. At the time, as best I recall, the capture theory was the most popular, that the moon was wandering around and captured by the earth. But I see in recent years, the "more way out" theory that the Moon was formed by another planet smashing into the Earth is now the dominant paradigm. I don't have a problem with this. I suspect that more data has sealed the deal on this matter. This does however, raise many questions. It is fascinating. Remember too that we can die in an instant if a piece of rock big enough hits the Earth. Life is thus precarious, and our position here is something which we as a race need to monitor and think about. It all makes for a weird and nasty past and a fascinating future. Jan]

It turns out the moon is a little younger than scientists previously thought — about 85 million years younger, to be precise.

In a new study, researchers at the German Aerospace Center found out that, not only did the moon once have a massive, fiery magma ocean, but our rocky satellite also formed later than scientists previously expected.

Billions of years ago, a Mars-size protoplanet smashed into the young Earth and, amid the debris and cosmic rubble, a new rocky body formed — our moon. In this new work, the researchers reconstructed the timeline of the moon’s formation. While scientists have previously thought that this moon-forming collision happened 4.51 billion years ago, the new work pegged the moon’s birth at only 4.425 billion years ago.

To determine this 85-million-year error in the moon’s age, the team used mathematical models to calculate the composition of the moon over time. Based on the idea that the moon was host to a massive magma ocean, the researchers calculated how the minerals that formed as the magma cooled solidified changed over time. By following the timeline of the magma ocean, the scientists were able to trace their way back to the moon’s formation.

"By comparing the measured composition of the moon’s rocks with the predicted composition of the magma ocean from our model, we were able to trace the evolution of the ocean back to its starting point, the time at which the moon was formed," study co-author Sabrina Schwinger, a researcher at the German Aerospace Center, said in a statement.

These findings, which show that the moon formed 4.425 billion years ago (give or take 25 million years), agree with previous research that aligned the moon’s formation with the formation of Earth’s metallic core, according to the statement.

"This is the first time that the age of the moon can be directly linked to an event that occurred at the very end of the Earth’s formation, namely the formation of the core," Thorsten Kleine, a professor at the Institute of Planetology at the University of Münster in Germany, said in the same statement.

These findings were described in a new study published on July 10 in the journal Science Advances.


2 thoughts on “Science: The moon is 85 million years younger than previously thought – My Comments

  • 16th July 2020 at 2:36 pm

    From the typewriter of Wayne H. Wilhelm
    (aka: Curious George)

    Needed correction to my first post:

    Last sentence of the second paragraph: “Neptune would be the likely culprit as to what caused the two planets to collide.”

    Should read: “Jupiter would be the likely culprit as to what caused the two planets to collide.

  • 16th July 2020 at 2:31 pm

    “From the typewriter of Wayne H. Wilhelm
    (aka: Curious George)

    The leading hypothesis as to how the planets formed seems to be accretion. Yet the various celestial bodies and their orbits are too well structured for accretion to have been a factor. One question by itself: If accretion is how planets formed, then why hasn’t the asteroid belt combined into a singular planet? Note the orbits of two dwarf planets beyond the orbit of Neptune. Highly oblique, the orbits of those two planets clearly establishes the position / orbits of those two planets as a product of accidents within our solar system, accidents casting the dwarf planets into the outer region of our solar system.

    I should also note, a region in our solar system likely capable of such an accident is the asteroid belt. The asteroid belt is likely the product of a massive collision between two planets via being too close to the gravitational influence of Jupiter. The two dwarf planets beyond the orbit of Neptune are likely a consequence of such a collision. I normally refer to those planets as K5 and K6 which may have formed in the same orbit around the Sun. Neptune would be the likely culprit as to what caused the two planets to collide.

    All of the planets (except for Mercury and Venus) have planetary satellites / rings. Hypothesizing such placements are the product of an inner solar system collision only begs the question.

    A hypothesis which does place the highly structured placement of the planets in their orbits, along with the various planetary satellites / rings is that of a hurricane. Hurricanes are gravity oriented. Compare any developed hurricane to any galaxy. The gravitational structures are too similar to be ignored. I’ve spent over a decade analyzing the possibilities.

    Whether a tornado or a hurricane on the Earth’s surface, there are extreme limits to the growth of such storm systems. When the forces inherent in a hurricane are subjected to the contents of a solar nebula spanning a sphere 4 light years in diameter, the potential is far greater. I would note, any first attempt on anyone’s part to determine the various effects will fail. Its only with repeated analysis along with discarding a numbers beliefs as to what is (scientific beliefs) that a proper analysis can be achieved.

    The physical structure of a developing galactic hurricane would yield the structures we see in any galaxy or solar system. It should also be noted, such structured process would yield repeated consistencies in those structures. Note the orbits of all of the planets in our solar system (except for those outside the orbit of Neptune.) Such precision is the product of a hurricane, not accretion. That is not to say accretion wouldn’t occur within that structured process.

    Via this galactic hurricane providing structure to the Universe, in any solar system having a central star similar to our Sun, it would be expected to have a similar number of inner ‘solid’ planets, outer gaseous planets, planetary satellites / rings, potential for an asteroid belt, Kuiper belt, Hills Cloud, and Oort Cloud (though the Oort Cloud resides outside the perimeter of the solar nebula.)

    As to the Moon being a bit younger than the Earth, perhaps I should note that such a structured process as I have mentioned, might have yielded the formation of the moon a little bit later than the formation of the Earth. As to any hypothesis the Moon split off from the Earth due to some type of collision, such beliefs can never be anything more than wishful thinking from someone who has failed to develop any hypothesis having more merit.

    As to anyone wishing to discard my comments at this stage, I haven’t provided enough information for anyone to make such a claim. My research is far more extensive than this little tidbit of information.


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