Dating rocks from the moon
"Establishing the age of the Moon is critical to understanding Solar System evolution and the formation of rocky planets, including Earth.
However, despite its importance, the age of the Moon has never been accurately determined," reports the team, led by Melanie Barboni from the University of California, Los Angeles.
From radioactive dating of the lunar rocks and soil it is now established that the Moon formed about 4.6 billion years ago.
The Moon is, indeed, very old, as old as Earth, and is telling us much about the earliest years of our planet and of the solar system.
I think that's appropriate because the Moon is where the study of planetary geology started, even before the Space Age.
The familiar face of the Moon contains dark splotches, the maria.
Look at the maria with a telescope, and you can see that they're flat plains that appear to fill low-lying areas.
These findings suggest that the Moon was formed roughly 60 million years after the Solar System first formed, making it up to 140 million years older than previous estimates.I will climb back out of the rabbit hole eventually with lots of good stories about the geology of many different planets, but I'm going to have to tell those stories bit by bit.It all begins, appropriately, with the history of impact basins on the Moon.Over the last couple of days I have fallen down a research rabbit hole -- I began with a question about clay minerals on Mars and find myself, today, writing about the history of major impact basins on the Moon.The trail that led me here has to do with geologic time scales -- the stories that geologists tell about the major events that happened in the history of a planet.