The Moon Millions Of Years Younger Than Thought, Scientists Say

Written by Michael Lambarde on Aug. 18, 2011

New tests by researchers suggest that both the moon as well as planet Earth may be millions of years younger than scientists had previously thought.

Most scientists project based on earlier studies that the moon was about 4.5 billion years old, but new tests on rocks from the lunar crust suggest otherwise. Scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California say that measurements of the isotopes of lead and neodymium in the rocks gathered by Apollo missions indicate that the moon may be more than 1.4 million years younger than many had thought.

Since scientists believe that the moon was formed after the impact of an object with the Earth that then solidified from an ocean of molten rock, they say that by that logic, the Earth must also be younger, too. Researchers say that the measurements of isotopes were made from ferroan anorthosite, rock samples the represent the oldest lunar crustal rock type.

“If our analysis represents the age of the moon, then the Earth must be fairly young as well,” Lars Borg, a lab researcher, said. “This is in stark contrast to a planet like Mars, which is argued to have formed around 4.53 billion years ago. If the age we report is from one of the first formed lunar rocks, then the moon is about 165 million years younger than Mars and about 200 million years younger than large asteroids”

  • I dont remember there being any digging in the moon, at least not to the core. If they are talking about those samples they gathered after ‘bombing’ the moon, from what I recall they said there wasn’t a way they could tell from what part of the surface they came. They could have just as easily been fragments from the moon colliding with space debris.

  • Joebloogs

    this does not make any sense – so are they saying the earth and moon are now 1.5 million years younger .WHY ?. So from 4500000000 – 15000000 thats like taking 1 second from a 24 hr day . Maybe the “real” story is coming out soon and this is disinformation to put in the publics mind that yes of course we went to the moon dont you remember the scientists tests on the moon rock sheeple ! .So they went to the moon and brought a car with them to drive around in ?.Riddle me this how did they get the car onto the apollo …

    • Asdfasd

      the lunar module was not a car

  • Liam Ondnes

    this is idiotic. a difference of 1.4 million years changes the estimated age by only about 0.03% (yes, that’s a small fraction of ONE percent).

    • Todd

      I just did the same math with the same result. How is such a small change significant? It must be a misprint.

      • Crazy

        I think the value in the data is not the percentage, but the chronological order of the formation of the planets and their satalites in respect to the solar system.

  • Theabsentmindedprofessor

    Doesn’t it say that they tested the Apollo landings? That wouldn’t have been from the bombing.

  • Afdasdf

    scientists continue to prove they don’t have a clue about what they are talking about

  • Fredb786

    I don’t know why you are all talking about 1.5 million years out of 4.5 billion years. That is all insignificant.

    We all know that everything was created 6000 years ago by the big guy in the sky. It all had to wait until the right number of begats were about to be created. It was the begats. That was a hot time… The begats. Creatig. Hot.

  • adam

    So instead of 4.5bn years old its 4.4986bn years old?! Oh snap!

  • Dan

    Just goes to show that radiometric dating and other dating methods based on old-earth assumptions are anything but truly scientific. They are simply the interpretations based on pre-formed assumptions by the ‘scientists’ publishing the data.

    • martin

      Umm, the difference here is 1.4 million out of 4.5 billion – around one part in 3000. That’s a pretty tiny difference.

    • Me

      Yeah you idiot. That’s only 0.03% difference. Why don’t you do some thinking for your self and stop the passive aggressive religious crap.

  • Anonymous

    i hope michael bloomberg eats coal for christmas

  • Torbjörn Larsson

    Someone has tried to estimate the new dating from figures in the press release, and got it wrong with a factor 100. To confuse it even more, the researchers make the Earth age out from after the Moon-creating impact.

    Usually Earth age is estimated to the age of the solar system, which is pretty well dated to ~ 4.54 Ga before present. Mars crust was formed a few million years after (dated from many samples, such as Mars asteroids); the article mention the old 35 Ma formation age, now pushed to ~ 4 (!) Ma.

    Then the old Earth impact age was ~ 4.50 Ga bp. Now Livermore push the date to ~ 4.36 Ga bp, or 140 Ma later. Yes, a few million years are significant here, since the relative dating is made to a precision of ~ 1 My and the absolute dating to ~ 1 % or a few million years!

    Also because dating of zircons and first life slips neatly in with these figures. There were a mantle pre impact at ~ 4.4 Ga bp, and water at ~ 4.36 Ga. The Nuvvuagittuq greenstone belt rock _can_ go back to ~ 3.85 – 4.28 Ga and _may_ contain the first trace fossils (sulfur cycle, IIRC).

    If you go by newest genome data we can estimate the probiotic to protobiotic before ~ 4.31 Ga bp. Reformed crust may take ~ 10 Ma (and see the water figure!), so life got started in ~ 30 Ma. (Or restarted, seeing that there were enough time before Earth creation and the impact too.)

    That figures [sic!], life was an easy process.

    @ Dan:

    Exactly the converse, the ability to improve data shows how well science works and how well known these things are.

    And you should go study radiometric dating, as there are isochron methods which *use no assumptions whatsoever* but rely on internal consistence of several measures. So your oft voiced and thoroughly boring “la la la … can’t hear you” argument is extra erroneous here.