Collision Formed Moon Later Than Thought

Posted by Michael Pinto on Dec 24, 2007 in Science |

The moon formed from Earth fragments after a collision with a giant, Mars-size asteroid relatively late in our planet's formation, a new analysis of moon rocks has revealed. The crash—shown above in this hypothetical rendering—occurred 30 million years later than previously believed, scientists say. Illustration courtesy Fahad Sulehria,

What’s interesting about his study is that the thinking is that the moon is pretty new in terms of the age of the solar system:

Earth-Asteroid Collision Formed Moon Later Than Thought

“The moon was formed from fragments of Earth after a collision with a giant asteroid relatively late in our planet’s formation, new tests of moon rocks show. The finding upends many of the prior theories for how the moon came to be, researchers say.

Scientists have long believed that the moon was formed by a collision between our planet and a Mars-size object. Computer models have shown that in this scenario 80 percent of the moon’s material should have come from the asteroid, with only 20 percent from Earth. But the new study of moon rocks collected three decades ago by Apollo astronauts, however, found that Earth and the rocks were too similar for that to be the case.”

llustration courtesy Fahad Sulehria at

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