Scientists have found the oldest rock in lunar samples collected by the Apollo 14 astronauts.
The team of scientists associated with Center for Lunar Science and Exploration (CLSE) in the US found evidence that the rock was launched from Earth by a large impacting asteroid or comet.It was expected to be happened because of the collisions of the asteroids and then shoot in the direction of earth’s satellite moon.
The researchers found a two gramme fragment of rock composed of quartz, feldspar, and zircon, all commonly found on Earth and highly unusual on the Moon.
“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 Kring, a Universities Space Research Association (USRA) scientist at the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI).
The sample is not of terrestrial origin, but instead crystallised on the Moon, however, that would require conditions never before inferred from lunar samples, researchers said.
The rock was reached moon before 3.9 billion years ago, and which made it partially melted buried it beneath the surface.
The sample is thus considered as the relic of an intense period of bombardment that shaped the solar system during the first billion years.