The early solar system was a place you would not want to be in. As everything was smashing into everything and life was fragile. Planets suffered massive comet and asteroid impacts that drove their evolution. Earth was no exception 4.5 billion years ago.
A newly published study has focused on giant planet migration. The phenomenon that saw planets move away from the sun and align themselves into a stable orbit. Researchers believe that this event happened 4.48 billion years ago, which is earlier than the accepted date.
The situation is made unclear due to the Moon rock samples collected by the Apollo missions. These have been confirmed to be 3.9 billion years old, which makes them around half a billion years younger than the Moon itself.
Mass impact theory
Some researchers have suggested that a possible explanation might be that a stream of comets bombarded Earth and the Moon. Explaining the younger layer of rock on the Moon. The area that was selected for landing and sample collection is called the Imbrium Basin and makes up for almost all lunar data available.
Some scientists believe in the mass impact theory that could have altered the geology of the Moon in particular. Such impacts could have melted away the original layer of rock. If this is true than the age of the outer layers of rocks might have been altered.
Simulations were made that tested the theory. The goal was to see if giant planets could leave debris behind in the form of asteroids and comets. This is plausible due to their journey from the Sun.
Age of the solar system
Study co-author Ramon Brasser states that: “The surfaces of the inner planets have been extensively reworked both by impacts and indigenous events until about 4 billion years ago. The same is not true for the asteroids. Their record goes back much further.”
If rock samples in the solar system go back further, researchers need to wait for some time until they get such a sample as everything the team had to study was 4.5 billion years old. NASA is making efforts to retrieve such samples from floating asteroids in space and will complete its task in a few years.
Emmy Skylar started working for Debate Report in 2017. Emmy grew up in a small town in northern Manitoba. But moved to Ontario for university. Before joining Debate Report, Emmy briefly worked as a freelance journalist for CBC News. She covers politics and the economy.