DETROIT - Scientists at the University of Michigan have announced that they have pinned down the age of earth's moon to between 4.5 and 4.52 billion years old.
This figure, if true, would mean that the moon was formed approximately 50 million years after the formation of the major planets, including earth.
"People have come up with ages for rocks on the moon previously, but they've been rather imprecise. What we've done is pin down the age of the moon rather precisely," said geological sciences professor Alexander Halliday.
The research by Halliday, his colleague Der-Chuen Lee and two University of Tennessee scientists, Gregory Snyder and Lawrence Taylor, also backs up the "giant impact" theory of how the moon was created, Halliday said.
In this scenario, an object about the size of the planet Mars sideswiped the earth. The moon then formed from parts of that object, parts of the earth or both. In any case, the material that formed the moon is very similar to materials that form the earth.
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