The moon, it turns out, is much younger than scientists previously thought.
Researchers from the German Aerospace Center and the University of Münster have released new estimates for the age of the moon. According to their modeling, it’s 85 million years younger than current estimates suggest.
Scientists have long estimated the moon formed some 4.51 billion years ago when a Mars-sized object (which we’ve since dubbed Theia) smashed into Earth. At the time, the guts of our newly formed planet were beginning to take shape.
The collision tore away a chunk of Earth’s mantle and flung it into orbit, where it morphed into a massive ring of dust and rock that began to clump together. “From this, the moon was formed in a short time, probably in just a few thousand years,” planetary scientist and study coauthor Doris Breuer, of the German Aerospace Center, said in a statement.
Breuer and her colleagues revealed in their paper, published in the journal Science Advances, that this infamous impact happened around 4.425 billion years ago, give or take about 25 million years. In the aftermath of the impact, the moon looked a lot like Mustafar—a molten marble with a piping hot magma ocean more than 600 miles deep.
Read more: yahoo