The moon is 85 million years younger than scientists thought, according to new research.
Researchers from the German Aerospace Center and the University of Münster have published new estimates of the moon’s age – according to their models, it is 85 million years younger than current estimates suggest. The moon formed roughly 4.425 billion years ago, astrophysicists say.
Scientists have previously speculated that the Moon formed about 4.51 billion years ago when a Mars-sized object (called Theia) crashed into Earth. At that time, our planet was just beginning to take shape.
The collision tore off a piece of Earth’s mantle and threw it into orbit, where it turned into a massive ring of dust and stone that began to gather together. “Based on this, the Moon was formed in a short time, perhaps in just a few thousand years,” the astrophysicists said in a statement.