Science

Earth's oldest discovered... on the Moon

Earth's oldest discovered... on the Moon

By sifting through the small amounts of moon sample, the team was stunned to find evidence that the 4bn-year-old rock was launched from Earth by a large impacting asteroid or comet. It may have formed on Earth but ended up on the moon due to a massive asteroid impact.

Day said his scenario seems more plausible compared to the "required chain of events of [breaking] felsite from the Earth at very high impact pressures so that it can escape Earth's orbit, and then incorporating it in a lunar impact melt rock".

Analysis of the rock showed that it contained 2 grams of a fragment that was composed of three very common materials found on Earth: quartz, feldspar, and zircon.

Scientists revealed that the rock was formed at temperatures associated with Earth and Earth-like settings, likely some 12.4 miles below the Earth's surface. The Earth fragment was likely blasted off our planet by a powerful impact about 4 billion years ago, according to the new research.

However, the moon developed its own distinct geological characteristics, making its rocks easily distinguishable from those formed on Earth. Therefore, the simplest interpretation is that the sample came from Earth. We've even found pieces of Mars falling to the ground here on Earth after they were kicked into space by an impact. If it were to be created on the moon, researchers would have to rethink all they know about the moon's interior and surface from the past.

"For that reason it provides a neat achieve of impacts, as it is unlike the Earth, which is affected by erosion and plate tectonics that disturb impact craters".

The rock was mixed with the lunar surface materials, according to the study published in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters. The event might have taken place about four billion years ago, researchers said.




About 26 million years ago, the rock was buried and melted before it was excavated by another impact.

Figuring out exactly how this Earth rock got mixed up with moon rocks might be more hard, although there are theories.

A whole lot of rock samples was brought back by the Apollo missions, and they have been methodically analyzed by scientists ever science.

The worldwide research team that analyzed the rock developed techniques to find impact fragments in the moon's soil. The evidence was found by an global team of scientists associated with the Center for Lunar Science and Exploration (CLSE) which is also part of NASA's Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute. This particular rock was at the end of the list, yet it appeared to be the most interesting.

The sample was on loan from NASA to Curtin University, where it was investigated in cooperation with researchers from the Swedish Museum of Natural History, Australian National University and Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston.

Kring expects that some geologists in the scientific community won't accept the finding because it seems controversial.