Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Earth-Moon Age
Name: Brenda
Status: Student
Age: 18
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A 


Question:
If the ages of Earth and MOon are nearly identical...why are most rocks found on the Moon so much older than Earth rocks? Can you answer this question for me? Thank you very much.



Replies:
The rocks on the surface of the moon erode very slowly since there is no atmosphere and no plate techtonics. On the surface of the earth, erosion and techtonic processes have changed the surface so rapidly, that we do not have rocks on the surface of the earth as old as rocks on the surface of the moon.

Nathan A. Unterman


Brenda,

Two big things I think contribute to this. The earth is still continually making new rock at the surface, i.e. volcanoes, but the moon is not.

The other thing is there is no life, little atmosphere, and no fluid water on the moon, but on earth there are these, things which break down rocks by erosion and other processes as well as bury them under layers of soil.

Don
Donald Yee Ph.D.



Click here to return to the Environmental and Earth Science Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory