New Lunar Rocks Show Surface is Surprisingly Young

Lunar material brought to Earth last December by China’s Change’5 mission—the first new Moon rocks scientists have gained since the 1970s—have been found to be about a billion years younger than previously dated samples. That means that there was liquid magma on the Moon a billion years more recently than previously known, raising questions about how the Moon got hot enough for its rock to melt.

The two newly dated samples are basalt rock from Oceanus Procellarum, or ‘the Ocean of Storms’, a massive dark splotch on the Moon’s near side. The predicted age range for the rock was 1.2 billion and 3.2 billion years old; after testing its true age turned out to be 1.963 billion years old.

Read the full story here. The findings were published in the journal Science.