Moon crystals help scientists answer a profound question about our place in the universe – Scotsman comment

Scientists have established that the moon is at least 4.46 billion years old

Moon crystals brought back to Earth more than 50 years ago sound like the sort of thing that those who mistake the placebo effect for something stronger might get tremendously excited by. However, despite the absence of hard evidence for a healing effect, they are useful in the hands of scientists.

Researchers were able to date the formation of the crystals using radioactive decay to 4.46 billion years ago, a finding that also helps date the moon. It is believed to have been formed after a Mars-sized object collided with Earth, causing a smaller piece to break off. As any crystals at the time of the collision would have been destroyed, we now know the moon is at least 40 million years older than a previous estimate.

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Why is this important? As Professor Philipp Heck explained, “when you know how old something is, you can better understand what has happened to it in its history”. For those in search of profound meaning in crystals, their ability to help answer such fundamental questions about our world and our universe should be good enough.

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