The moon may be 40 million years older than we thought, Apollo 17 samples suggest

"Fresh analysis of the bits of our moon, brought home by Apollo 17 astronauts, has suggested our moon is 4.46 billion years old — 40 million years older than we previously thought. That puts the moon's birth at 108 million years after the solar system formed; previous estimates had placed it within 60 million years. The scientists behind the analysis say a more precise age helps us better understand the history and evolution of the moon, as well as Earth."

Other reports from Apollo 17 were disclosed too.

The space.com report came out, 15-Dec-2021 on this lunar sample and cooling age issue. . https://forums.space.com/threads/mo...eals-new-details-about-lunar-evolution.52749/, Moon rock collected by Apollo 17 astronauts reveals new details about lunar evolution

Advanced analysis of Apollo sample illuminates Moon's evolution, https://phys.org/news/2021-12-advanced-analysis-apollo-sample-illuminates.html

Reference paper, Chemical heterogeneities reveal early rapid cooling of Apollo Troctolite 76535, https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-021-26841-4, 14-Dec-2021. "Abstract The evolution of the lunar interior is constrained by samples of the magnesian suite of rocks returned by the Apollo missions. Reconciling the paradoxical geochemical features of this suite constitutes a feasibility test of lunar differentiation models. Here we present the results of a microanalytical examination of the archetypal specimen, troctolite 76535, previously thought to have cooled slowly from a large magma body."

Here is an earlier report on 76535 sample. Evidence of extensive lunar crust formation in impact melt sheets 4,330 Myr ago, https://ui.adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2020NatAs...4..974W/abstract, May 2020.

The Chinese reported 2 Gyr ages in their samples, https://forums.space.com/threads/ch...le-haul-includes-exotic-volcanic-rocks.59433/

Seems plenty of different ages reported for lunar rocks over the years (need a central repository tracking and showing all the different ages found), then there is the cosmic ray exposure age clock too, commonly not reported. It will be interesting to see how various ages reported lead to a more precise age for the giant impact model, Theia hitting the proto earth that is claimed to create our Moon. The issue of tidal dissipation and just how close the early Moon was to Earth is involved in this dating issue for the Moon too.
 
Another note here from this past Sky & Telescope report.

LONG-LIVED LUNAR MAGMA OCEAN POINTS TO A YOUNGER MOON, https://skyandtelescope.org/astronomy-news/long-lived-lunar-magma-ocean-points-to-a-younger-moon/

"...In a paper published in Science in 2017, a group of researchers found that a bit of zircon recovered from samples ferried back to Earth during the Apollo 14 mission is 4.51 billion years old, becoming the oldest known piece of lunar rock. Mineral dating, however, can only go as far back as the moment when those minerals formed, which happened at the end of the magma ocean’s crystallization. To really date the Moon, scientists need to figure out how much time elapsed until the magma ocean completely solidified — a task riddled with uncertainties.”

Juggling giant impact models and dating lunar rocks looks like fun :)
 
Oct 21, 2019
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Quote from article:
"Fresh analysis of the bits of our moon, brought home by Apollo 17 astronauts, has suggested our moon is 40 million years older than we previously thought.
That suggests the moon is 4.46 billion years old, rather than 4.52 billion years old as previously estimated."

Those numbers are in conflict with the statement about the Moon being 40 million years older than previously thought! Unless there's a typo and the previous age estimate should have been stated as 4.42 billion years old.?
 
Oct 24, 2023
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Why did you write a wrong calculation in this article?
You wrote That suggests the moon is 4.46 billion years old, rather than 4.52 billion years old as previously estimated.
It should be That suggests the moon is 4.46 billion years old, rather than 4.42 billion years old as previously estimated.
 

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