Earth and Moon are 60 million years older than thought

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The impact of ancient Earth and a planet-sized body, known as Theia, occurred 40 million years after the start of the formation of the solar system .This means that the final stage of the formation of the Earth is about 60 million years earlier than previously thought.

earth and moon

Geochemical University of Lorraine in Nancy, France, presented at theGoldschmidt Geochemistry Conference an isotopic signal that previous age estimates for both the Earth to the Moon are underestimates.

Looking back at the “deep time” becomes more difficult to put a date of the first events of the Earth. In part, this is because there is little “classical geology” that date from the time of the formation of the Earth. So geochemists have had to resort to other methods to estimate the early events of Earth. One of the standard methods is the measurement of changes in the proportions of different gases ( isotopes ) surviving from the early Earth.


Avice Guillaume and Bernard Marty analyzed xenon gas found in quartz from South Africa and Australia, which had been dated at 3,400 years and 2,700 million, respectively. The gas seal in this quartz is preserved as a “time capsule”, allowing you to compare current relationships xenon isotope with which existed billions of years ago.

Recalibration of dating techniques using the old gas allowed them to refine the estimate of when the Earth began to form. This allowed them to calculate the impact that formed the Moon is about 60 million more ancient than previously thought years.

Previously, the time of the formation of the Earth’s atmosphere was estimated at about 100 million years after the formation of the solar system. As the atmosphere would not have survived the impact that formed the Moon, this review puts age until 40 million years after the formation of our system (which is about 60 million years older than previously thought ).


According to Guillaume Avice. “Can not give an exact date for the formation of the Earth What makes this work is to demonstrate that the earth is greater than we thought, about 60 million years.

“In the composition of the gases we are seeing changes under the conditions they endured during the most important events in the history of the Earth. The sealing gas in these quartz sample has reached us in a sort of time capsule. we using standard methods to calculate the age of the Earth, but to access these ancient samples gives us new data, and allows us to refine the measurement. ”

Xenon gas signals allow us to calculate when the atmosphere was forming, it was probably at the time when the Earth collided with a body of planetary size , leading to the formation of the Moon. Our results indicate that both the Earth and the Moon are older than we thought. ”

Marty Bernard added, “This may seem a small difference, but it is important. Such differences set time limits on how the planets evolved, especially through deep time in major collisions that formed the solar system.” Oldest Rocks solar system have been dated at 4.568 million years , so that the earth is younger than that, “he said.

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