Ancient earth rock discovered on moon could be proof of pre-historic cosmic collision

The moon is seen during a lunar eclipse over Cairo, Egypt July 27, 2018.
The moon is seen during a lunar eclipse over Cairo, Egypt July 27, 2018. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

An International team of researchers who are part of the Center for Lunar Science and Exploration (CLSE) in US has claimed to have discovered the oldest rock on earth from the moon. The research team revealed that they made this milestone discovery after analyzing the lunar samples returned to earth by Apollo 14 astronauts.

How ancient earth rock reached the moon?

Researchers believe that the rock might have launched from the earth to moon due to a gigantic asteroid or comet hit. This powerful impact launched several materials from the earth's surface through the planet's primitive atmosphere and later it collided on the moon. Interestingly, this cosmic collision happened 4 billion years ago, and at this time, the moon was three times closer to the earth than it is now.

The study report published in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters revealed that the rocks from the earth got subsequently mixed with several lunar particles in the course of time.

"It is an extraordinary find that helps paint a better picture of early Earth and the bombardment that modified our planet during the dawn of life," said David Kring, a senior staff scientist at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, Texas, the Guardian reports.

However, researchers also made it clear that there are some possibilities that this rock is not of extraterrestrial origin. If that is the case, then the formation of such a rock would demand conditions never before inferred on the lunar surface.

Did the Moon form due to the collision of earth with another planet?

A few days ago, another study report published in the journal Science Advances had revealed that the seeds of life were first sowed on the earth's surface following a planetary collision.

The study report claimed that a planet with the size of Mars smashed into the earth around 4.4 billion years ago, and the remnants of this giant planet have become the moon, earth's only natural satellite.

This article was first published on January 26, 2019