How Old Is the Moon?

Before the first man landed on the moon, scientists had come up with three possible ways that the moon might have been formed.

First, it could have formed out of the same gas cloud that formed the earth. Or it could have broken off from the earth many millions of years ago.

Or perhaps the moon formed somewhere outside the solar system and was captured by the earth’s gravity as the two bodies passed close to each other.

But when the astronauts landed on the moon and brought back some moon rocks, scientists discovered that the moon is not made out of the same elements as the earth. This means that the moon probably did not form from the same gas cloud that formed the earth, and that it most likely didn’t break off from the earth.

Scientists were surprised to find that most of the moon rocks were more than 3.5 billion years old. The oldest rocks yet found on earth are about that same age.

But some moon rocks were 4.5 billion years old, older than any earth rocks, and the moon’s soil was also of that age. These rocks and soil may not even be the oldest on the moon.

So now scientists still aren’t sure how the moon was formed, or how old it really is, but it could be older than the earth!

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

4 thoughts on “How Old Is the Moon?”

  1. Yes, the alternative press likes to torture itself with conspiracy theories. This is natural selection in action!

    However, the real evidence is more mundane. When a spacecraft is independently tracked by radar, the returning signal tells one how far away the rapidly receding craft is, and at what velocity it is moving. Jodrell Bank in Cheshire, was one participant, as were other stations in Australia.

    We can even do this for spacecraft moving around the orbit of Saturn, such as Cassini.

    So when you have more than one radar station simultaneously tracking a lunar lander from different sides of Earth, then their position can be precisely triangulated, and so be found to be on the Moon’s surface with some certainty.

    Additionally, a mirrored reflection device was left on the lunar surface by one NASA manned mission, which regularly returns a laser beam shot from Earth, that precisely measures the distance that the Moon is moving annually away from Earth.

    We know also now know for sure that the Earth is round, though some would even now dispute that also.

  2. to suggest that there was never a walk on the moon speaks volumes for the intelligence of the person commenting.

  3. “Most likely?”
    A moon landing “hoax” would require tens of thousands of complicit (and silent) persons and an impossibly gullible public. There is even more “substantial evidence” (credible, even) that the moon landing DID happen!

    How do you feel about people riding dinosaurs? Is there “substantial evidence” of that too?

    Throwing doubt on topics for the uninitiated is what passes for popular science and debate now.

    It saddens me.

  4. However, it is worth noting that there is substantial evidence to suggest that no man ever set foot on the moon. The rocks that they supposedly brought back from the moon are most likely from a meteor that landed on the earth.

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