Timeline Of Moon Formation

August 18, 2011 by staff 

Timeline Of Moon FormationTimeline Of Moon Formation, Some scientific advances are made in the development of new concepts, and some is throwing spanners in the existing ideas. A letter published today in Nature seems an example of the latter.

It is well accepted that the Moon formed from material ejected after a Mars-sized body collided with Earth, but the chronology of how the moon came together after the impact is an area of?? Active research. Our general understanding of the formation of planetary bodies involves chemical differentiation during the solidification of molten material. As a great “ocean” of magma cools slowly, some minerals crystallize before the other, eliminating the components of the mixture.

On the Moon, a group of rocks called anorthosites ferrous (or fans) are believed to have accumulated on the ocean of magma as it crystallizes, forming the lunar crust. The fans have proven very difficult to date due to the somewhat limited isotope geochemistry of the oldest rocks Moon. As a result, their ages estimated to have been fairly large margins of error attached to them. The ages that have emerged so far indicate that the fans formed soon after the lunar material was ejected from the Earth. In other words, rapidly cooled magma oceans.

The authors of this letter to develop better methods for fans of appointments that allowed them to calculate ages with unprecedented accuracy. We used three isotopic systems are commonly applied to these rocks 207Pb-206Pb-, 147Sm 143Nd and 146Sm 142. For the first time, researchers were able to calculate an age concordant, ie, an age in which these series agree exactly. Previous attempts to date the Friends of the error too had been found for the series in accordance with such precision.

The work resulted in an age of 4.36 billion years (about 3 million). That is several tens of million years more recent than we thought Moon’s crust formed. This leads to two possibilities: either the Moon took much more time raising and solidify what we thought, or assumptions about the fans that form in the final stages of magma oceans are incorrect.

A different process (known as magmatism series) could explain the EF measured ages, but the theory magma ocean was based in part on the characteristics of the fans. If the fans are actually the product of a different process, our understanding of how planetary bodies could differentiate consolidate and take a step back.

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