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Why are the oldest rocks found on Earth younger than the oldest lunar rocks that Apollo brought back from the moon?

Analysis of a piece of lunar rock brought back to Earth by the Apollo 16 mission in 1972 has shown that the Moon may be much younger than previously believed. As the Moon cooled, this magma ocean solidified into different mineral components, the lightest of which floated upwards to form the oldest crust.

What is the age of the earth and how it is determined?

The ages of Earth and Moon rocks and of meteorites are measured by the decay of long-lived radioactive isotopes of elements that occur naturally in rocks and minerals and that decay with half lives of 700 million to more than 100 billion years to stable isotopes of other elements.

How do the ages of the Earth and the moon compare?

Scientists thought the Earth and moon were approximately the same age, about 4.57 billion years old. But a new analysis of lunar rock samples suggests that Earth’s moon is 200 million years younger than the previous estimate. The moon’s age is based on the oldest ages determined for moon rocks.

Do the moon and the earth have the same types of rocks?

The composition of the Moon is much like that of the Earth. Its rocks are similar to Earth rocks and contain many but not all of the same minerals. However, the Moon has no atmosphere, it shows no trace of past or present life, and its rocks contain no water. The Moon rocks show that the lunar surface is very ancient.

Which rock is found on moon?

Lunar rocks are in large part made of the same common rock forming minerals as found on Earth, such as olivine, pyroxene, and plagioclase feldspar (anorthosite). Plagioclase feldspar is mostly found in the lunar crust, whereas pyroxene and olivine are typically seen in the lunar mantle.

What caused the moon to form?

What is most widely accepted today is the giant-impact theory. It proposes that the Moon formed during a collision between the Earth and another small planet, about the size of Mars. The debris from this impact collected in an orbit around Earth to form the Moon.

Why are moon rocks so important?

In this way, the lunar samples are a link between us and the heavens, helping us see deeper into them and understand what we find. For planetary scientists, research on lunar samples is invaluable. Unlike Earth, the moon hasn’t changed much since it formed.

Is it illegal to own a piece of the moon?

Although NASA’s lunar missions returned more than 842 pounds of moon rock to Earth, it is illegal for private citizens to own any of it (lunar meteorites, however, are perfectly legal). Instead, lunar samples were used as goodwill gifts to 135 countries and each of the 50 states..

What does moon dust smell like?

After walking on the Moon astronauts hopped back into their lunar lander, bringing Moon dust with them. They were surprised, and perplexed, to find that it smelled like spent gunpowder.

Can bacteria survive on Mars?

Earth bacteria capable of growth and reproduction in the presence of highly salted solutions, called halophile or “salt-lover”, were tested for survival using salts commonly found on Mars and at decreasing temperatures. The species tested include Halomonas, Marinococcus, Nesterenkonia, and Virgibacillus.