Click on image for full size
The Other Big Bang
News story originally written on November 18, 1997
Geochemists just released the most accurate estimate of the age of the Moon. This estimate claims that the Moon was formed later than previously thought.
Scientists from the University of Michigan and the University of Tennesee released their findings in the Nov 7th issue of Science. "Our data indicates the moon formed within the time window of 4.52 billion to 4.50 billion years ago. The tungsten isotopic composition of the moon is consistent with the hypothesis that the moon was derived from the Earth itself, or from a large object colliding with the Earth which had a similar chemical composition," U-M professor Alexander Halliday said.
Their research has led these scientists to claim that the Moon was most certainly the result of a collision between the Earth and another body (a body as large as Mars!). This "big bang" must have occurred about 50 million years after the start of the solar system (4.57 billion years ago).
These scientists used the process of spectroscopy to make their findings. A similar process was used by the Mars Pathfinder rover to analyze Martian rocks.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
on science education, ranging from evolution
, classroom research
, and the need for science and math literacy
You might also be interested in:
It was another exciting and frustrating year for the space science program. It seemed that every step forward led to one backwards. Either way, NASA led the way to a great century of discovery. Unfortunately,...more
The Space Shuttle Discovery lifted off from Kennedy Space Center at 2:19 p.m. EST, October 29th. The sky was clear and the weather was great as Discovery took 8 1/2 minutes to reach orbit for the Unitied...more
A moon was discovered orbiting the asteroid, Eugenia. This is only the second time in history that a satellite has been seen circling an asteroid. A special mirror allowed scientists to find the moon...more
Will Russia ever put the service module for the International Space Station in space? NASA officials are demanding an answer from the Russian government. The necessary service module is currently waiting...more
During a period of about two days in early May, 1998, the ACE spacecraft was immersed in plasma associated with a coronal mass ejection (CME). The SWICS instrument on ACE, which determines unambiguously...more
J.S. Maini of the Canadian Forest Service has referred to forests as the "heart and lungs of the world." Forests reduce soil erosion, maintain water quality, contribute to atmospheric humidity and cloud...more
In late April through mid-May 2002, all five naked-eye planets are visible simultaneously in the night sky! This is includes Mercury which is generally very hard to see because of its proximity to the...more