It’s safe to say that long before our ancient ancestors developed language, our moon has been a source of fascination. Closing out the turbulent 1960s with humankind landing on the moon was, clearly, a profound moment in our history. The origin of the moon has been a mystery to scientists. Now researchers may have pin-pointed the moon’s age, advancing a widely held theory of how it was born.
The moon is 4.47 billion-years-old–60 million years younger than previously thought. It was formed around 95 million years after the creation of our solar system.
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The Independent explains:
Astronomer John Chambers, with the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington DC, said the mega-asteroid that smashed into Earth, launching debris that later became the moon, occurred about 95 million years after the birth of the solar system.
“We think that the thing that hit Earth and ended up forming the moon, the lion’s share of it stayed on Earth,” he explained.
“A small fraction of its mass and some material from Earth was pushed off into space to form the moon. That was probably the last big event,” he added.
The study, published in the journal Nature, is based on 259 computer simulations of how the solar system evolved.