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Moon Earth Space Science

Why the Moon's New Birthday Means the Earth Is Older Than We Thought 98

Daniel_Stuckey (2647775) writes You're likely familiar with the theory of how the Moon formed: a stray body smashed into our young Earth, heating the planet and flinging debris into its orbit. That debris coalesced and formed the Moon. The impact theory still holds, but a team of geochemists from the University of Lorraine in Nancy, France has refined the date, finding that the Moon is about 60 million years older than we thought. As it turns out, that also means the Earth is 60 million years older than previously thought, which is a particularly cool finding considering just how hard it is to estimate the age of our planet.
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Why the Moon's New Birthday Means the Earth Is Older Than We Thought

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  • by Mashiki ( 184564 ) <> on Monday June 16, 2014 @05:44AM (#47244383) Homepage

    Nope, because people who do it are in it for the bigotry and circle-jerk.

  • by Mikkeles ( 698461 ) on Monday June 16, 2014 @06:37AM (#47244477)

    With what did the collision happen if the earth wasn't already there? I fail to see how the moon being carved out the earth 60 Myr earlier affects the age of the earth.

  • by coofercat ( 719737 ) on Monday June 16, 2014 @08:43AM (#47244927) Homepage Journal

    Day 0 - Our sun is puked into existence, with a shit-tonne of rubble floating around it.
    100 million years later, a big rock hits earth - thus earth must have been there, so we know earth was made on or before 100 million years after the sun. Previous measurements of our atmosphere from rocks suggests this to be true.

    French people look at all the observations, and saw that the calibrations were a bit off, and then worked out that collision took place 60 million years earlier than previously thought. Therefore, the earth must have formed 60 million years earlier than first thought, and been solid and "finished" enough to be able to produce the moon from the impact. That suggests the earth was formed in 40 million years, not 100 million years - that makes quite a difference to our understanding of how planets are formed. From the French perspective, this means the FSM didn't have as many RTT days in his contract as was previously thought, and possibly worked many of the days we now consider public holidays too.

The party adjourned to a hot tub, yes. Fully clothed, I might add. -- IBM employee, testifying in California State Supreme Court