Scientists suspect Apollo moon rock sample actually came from Earth

Scientists suspect Apollo moon rock sample actually came from Earth

However, the moon developed its own distinct geological characteristics, making its rocks easily distinguishable from those formed on Earth.

Earth's oldest rock may have been discovered and it was picked up by astronauts on the moon during the Apollo 14 in 1971. These minerals are commonly found on Earth, but are highly unusual on the moon.

You might be thinking that's an very bad long way for a rock to travel, even if was the result of a colossal strike, but at this time the moon was three times closer to Earth than it is now.

An Earth origin for the ancient fragment isn't a slam dunk, study team members stressed.

The simplest interpretation is that the sample came from Earth, according to researchers.

Apollo 14 commander Alan Shepard stands by the Modular Equipment Transporter (MET), a cart for carrying tools, cameras and sample cases on the lunar surface.

"In addition, the chemistry of the zircon in this sample is very different from that of every other zircon grain ever analysed in lunar samples, and remarkably similar to that of zircons found on Earth". The most plausible explanation is that a massive asteroid impact hurled our traveling piece of rock into space, landing on the nearest body, Earth's natural satellite.

The rock is considered a relic of an intense period of bombardment that shaped the solar system during its first billion years, after which the moon was only affected by small and less frequent events.

However, the rock formed deep inside the Earth.

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They found evidence that "the rock was launched from Earth by a large impacting asteroid or comet" and it "jettisoned material through Earth's primitive atmosphere, into space, where it collided with the surface of the Moon", according to a news release from USRA.

The rock itself was discovered decades ago by the Apollo 14 crew.

But one mystery has persisted, revealed by rocks the Apollo astronauts brought back from the moon: Why are the moon and Earth so similar in their composition? The sliver of material, the same width as two human hairs, has been dated to 4.4 billion years old.

Scientists might have found what may be Earth's oldest rock.

An global team of scientists led by NASA's Center for Lunar Science and Exploration (CLSE), found evidence that the impact jettisoned material through Earth's primitive atmosphere, into space, where it collided with the surface of the Moon (which was three times closer to Earth than it is now) about 4 billion years ago.

National Geographic writes that Earth's oldest minerals, up to 4.4 billion years old, are found in Australia's Jack Hills.

When Apollo 14 astronauts retrieved the samples of lunar soil and rocks, they believed that this particular rock could contain lots of information about the Moon formation and composition.

He said: "We can all see those pockmarks on the Moon and it is just fascinating to look at them and think we can exploit data being collected as speak to further our understanding of how our Earth has been affected by these events over time".

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