4bn-year-old 'Earth rock' found in Apollo 14 crew's moon haul

Share
4bn-year-old 'Earth rock' found in Apollo 14 crew's moon haul

The final impact event to affect this sample occurred about 26 million years ago, when an impacting asteroid hit the Moon, producing the small 340 meter-diameter Cone Crater, and excavating the sample back onto the lunar surface where astronauts collected it nearly exactly 48 years ago (January 31-February 6, 1971).

Now, 48 years on, experts are claiming that this relic was once part of Earth after it ended up on the moon after large comet or asteroid collided with the planet. Scientists have discovered the rock decades ago by the Apollo 14 crew.

An global team of scientists associated with the Center for Lunar Science and Exploration (CLSE), part of NASA's Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute, found evidence that the rock was launched from Earth by a large impacting asteroid or comet.

"By determining the age of zircon found in the sample, we were able to pinpoint the age of the host rock at about 4 billion years old, making it similar to the oldest rocks on Earth", said professor Alexander Nemchin, author of the paper.

After the sample hit the Moon's surface, "other impact events" helped shape it, including one event some 3.9 billion years ago, the researchers said.

This theory is the easiest explanation since the formation of such a fragment would need an oxidizing environment.

But, they stipulated, it would require the sample to have formed a very deep depth below the surface of the Moon in the lunar mantle. He holds a B.A.in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

It is possible that the sample is not of terrestrial origin, but instead crystallised on the Moon.

Many researchers believe the moon formed after Earth was hit by a planet the size of Mars billions of years ago.

"The samples of Hadean Earth certainly peppered the lunar surface; other samples will likely be found with additional study".

While moon rocks have been recorded ending up on Earth as a result of asteroid impacts, the reverse had not previously been observed. Therefore, the simplest interpretation is that the sample came from Earth.

Researchers from NASA believe that the impact of the collision jettisoned the rock into space and then landed on the surface of the Moon.

The rock probably stayed buried for eons until around 26 million years ago when another asteroid impact, this time on the moon, produced the 340 m wide Cone Crater.

One of the oldest rocks on Earth may have been dug up on the Moon.

Their findings led them to speculate that the piece of ancient rock was jolted from Earth by an asteroid impact, roughly the size of that which is thought to have killed the dinosaurs.

At an estimated four billion to 4.1 billion years old, the terrestrial zircon mineral found in the sample is now among the oldest known to exist.

By contrast, the terrestrial conditions seem much more likely - even if it seems a spectacular coincidence that this tiny fragment was later returned to Earth.

Share

Advertisement

Related Posts

Budweiser releases Super Bowl commercial touting wind power
Additionally, the fine print explains that renewable energy is only one type of energy Budweiser uses in the beer-making process. In addition, the company said it would donate clean electricity to Atlanta to power the city the week of Super Bowl.

How Kylie Jenner's new makeup references Taylor Swift
When asked about wedding plans, she said, "Not that I know of", adding, "So, if you hear something, you better call my cell". But it wasn't just the two of them - boyfriend Travis Scott and BFF Jordyn Woods also joined in on the island adventure.

Greek lawmakers ratify Macedonia name-change deal
And for that reason, Athens did what it could to delay global recognition of its name and its accession to the United Nations. Zaev , in his speech, paid tribute to his Greek opposite number Alexis Tsipras for pushing through Friday's vote.

Trump wounded by border wall retreat in deal to end shutdown
President Donald Trump is prepared for another government shutdown if Congress won't work with him to secure the southern border. Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney says U.S.

China coach Lippi resigns after Asian Cup exit
China is a solid and well-prepared team with a great coach. "Maybe the small details have cost us at previous Asian Cups", he said.

The five key Brexit amendments that could radically alter Theresa May's plan
But despite the olive branch, Mrs May looks increasing as if she is looking to her own party to salvage her deal. This is your comprehensive guide on who wants to do what, and how.

Diocese Of Covington Offices Evacuated After Reports Of A Suspicious Package
Saying it had been bullied and "pressured from all sides" to make an initial statement, Diocese of Covington Bishop Rev. He said that school officials had launched an investigation and that Sandmann and other students could be expelled.

Oil up on Venezuela turmoil despite surging U.S. supply
The prospect of a dovish Fed may have aided the USD's decline, which helps push United States crude oil prices higher. However, it has not yet taken that step, nor has it elected to cut off supply of US oil that goes to Mexico.

McCallum out as Canadian ambassador to China after comments on Meng extradition
Trudeau earlier this week dismissed calls to fire McCallum, but he clearly had enough after McCallum spoke off script again. Former ambassador to China Guy Saint-Jacques said he believes it was the latest round of comments that prompted his firing.

Trump announces deal with lawmakers to end government shutdown
Secondly, Democrats are rhetorically coerced into admitting the US southern border is a national security issue. The Senate is set to hold two votes today on competing proposals to reopen the government.

© 2015 ExpressNewsline. All Rights reserved.