How old is the moon? About 100 Million Years Younger Than We Once Thought

How old is the moon?

New research and recent analyses of lunar rocks suggests an object 5 times the mass of Mars actually collided with Earth and created a monster impact that led to the formation of Earth’s moon between 4.4 billion and 4.45 billion years ago. This new timeline marks the moon 100 million years younger than we once thought and reshapes scientists’ understanding of the early Earth and moon.


Former Staff Member Sara Seager Among Winners of the 2013 MacArthur Fellowship

MacArthur Foundation Sarah Seager

Astrophysicist and planetary scientist Sara Seager, a DTM staff member from 2002 to 2006, has just been awarded a 2013 MacArthur Fellowship.


Lindy Elkins-Tanton & Rick Carlson Present at the Royal Society's Origin of the Moon Meeting in London

William K. Hartmann

DTM's Director, Lindy Elkins-Tanton and Staff Scientist, Rick Carlson, both spoke at The Royal Society's scientific discussion meeting entitled, "Origin of the Moon" on the 23 September to 24 September 2013 in London. Lindy discussed "Magma Oceans & The Origin of the Lunar Highlands." Rick Carlson spoke about the "Age of the Lunar Crust: Implications for the Time of Moon Formation."


Byrne Takes First in Famelab Competition

FameLab Logo

MESSENGER Postdoctoral Fellow, Paul Byrne, entered a video into the international competition, FameLab, on the global contraction of Mercury. He advanced to the second round where he submitted a video about how large volcanoes on Mars can sink into the ground and came in first place. He will compete with winners from the other heats at National Geographic Headquarters in April 2014 in the U.S. FameLab final. The winner of that final will represent the U.S. in the international finals in London in July 2014.


Martian history: Finding a common denominator with Earth's

Earth and Mars

A team of scientists, including Carnegie's Conel Alexander and Jianhua Wang, studied the hydrogen in water from the Martian interior and found that Mars formed from similar building blocks to that of Earth, but that there were differences in the later evolution of the two planets. This implies that terrestrial planets, including Earth, have similar water sources--chondritic meteorites. However, unlike on Earth, Martian rocks that contain atmospheric volatiles such as water, do not get recycled into the planet’s deep interior. Their work will be published in the December 1 issue of Earth and Planetary Science Letters. It is available online.


Long Lost Moon of Jupiter Found

Lost Jupiter moon

The Jupiter moon S/2000 J11 was discovered in 2000 and observed for only about one month before it became lost in Jupiter's glare. It was not seen again over the next several years. Now, Scott S. Sheppard has solved the puzzle by rediscovering S/2000 J11 in images obtained at the Magellan Telescope in 2010 and 2011.