Scientists at the University of Munster in Germany found out that the Moon is somewhat younger than previously thought. According to new data, the satellite of the Earth was formed 4,425 billion years ago. The disclosure of the mysteries of time the appearance of a celestial body is reported in an article published in the journal Science Advances.
The simulation results showed that the young Earth collided with the protoplanets after about 140 million years after the birth of the Solar system 4,567 million years ago. By this time the heavy metal pieces fell to the center of the Earth and formed a core of iron and Nickel, surrounded by a thick mantle of silicate rock. These rocks became hot due to the decay of radioactive elements that contributed to the final separation of metals and silicates within a few tens of millions of years.
At this stage, the Earth collided with Theia the size of Mars, resulting in space was ejected enough material for the emergence of the satellite within only a few thousand years. In addition, the Earth and the moon formed a giant magma oceans with a depth of thousands of kilometers. The satellite ocean quickly began to harden, forming a crust, which inhibited the further cooling of the magma.
The researchers calculated how much time needed for complete solidification of molten rock, which allowed them to calculate the exact age of the moon. According to computer models, it took 200 million years old, not 35 million years as previously thought. In addition, the researchers determined how the cooling of the magma changed composition of minerals rich in magnesium and iron. The researchers compared the actual composition of lunar rocks with the predicted composition of igneous rocks from the model and followed the evolution of the molten ocean to the moment of its creation.
It turned out that the time of occurrence of the moon coincides with the time of formation of the metallic core of the Earth, defined by the uranium-lead method.