Dating the Moon-forming impact event with asteroidal meteorites

W. F. Bottke, D. Vokrouhlický, S. Marchi, Timothy Swindle, E. R D Scott, J. R. Weirich, H. Levison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

The inner solar system's biggest and most recent known collision was the Moon-forming giant impact between a large protoplanet and proto-Earth. Not only did it create a disk near Earth that formed the Moon, it also ejected several percent of an Earth mass out of the Earth-Moon system. Here, we argue that numerous kilometer-sized ejecta fragments from that event struck main-belt asteroids at velocities exceeding 10 kilometers per second, enough to heat and degas target rock. Such impacts produce ∼1000 times more highly heated material by volume than do typical main belt collisions at ∼5 kilometers per second. By modeling their temporal evolution, and fitting the results to ancient impact heating signatures in stony meteorites, we infer that the Moon formed ∼4.47 billion years ago, which is in agreement with previous estimates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-323
Number of pages3
JournalScience
Volume348
Issue number6232
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 17 2015

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meteorite
Moon
collision
stony meteorite
temporal evolution
ejecta
asteroid
solar system
heating
dating
rock
modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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Bottke, W. F., Vokrouhlický, D., Marchi, S., Swindle, T., Scott, E. R. D., Weirich, J. R., & Levison, H. (2015). Dating the Moon-forming impact event with asteroidal meteorites. Science, 348(6232), 321-323. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aaa0602

Dating the Moon-forming impact event with asteroidal meteorites. / Bottke, W. F.; Vokrouhlický, D.; Marchi, S.; Swindle, Timothy; Scott, E. R D; Weirich, J. R.; Levison, H.

In: Science, Vol. 348, No. 6232, 17.04.2015, p. 321-323.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bottke, WF, Vokrouhlický, D, Marchi, S, Swindle, T, Scott, ERD, Weirich, JR & Levison, H 2015, 'Dating the Moon-forming impact event with asteroidal meteorites', Science, vol. 348, no. 6232, pp. 321-323. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aaa0602
Bottke WF, Vokrouhlický D, Marchi S, Swindle T, Scott ERD, Weirich JR et al. Dating the Moon-forming impact event with asteroidal meteorites. Science. 2015 Apr 17;348(6232):321-323. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aaa0602
Bottke, W. F. ; Vokrouhlický, D. ; Marchi, S. ; Swindle, Timothy ; Scott, E. R D ; Weirich, J. R. ; Levison, H. / Dating the Moon-forming impact event with asteroidal meteorites. In: Science. 2015 ; Vol. 348, No. 6232. pp. 321-323.
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