Earth’s Oldest Rock Found on the Moon

Earth’s Oldest Rock Found on the Moon

Sophie Lyons, Writer

Apollo 14 astronauts took home a moon rock in 1971… or so we thought. Scientists have shown that this moon rock was actually a foreigner from where it was found. This extraterrestrial object is actually a rock from Earth. This may seem impossible, a Earth rock found on the moon, but scientists have an interesting theory of how this might have happened.

Research of this 20 pound stone suggests that it is the oldest Earth rock there is. Jeremy Bellucci at the Swedish Museum of Natural History has the idea that this rock was actually part of Earth a long, long time ago, but when the meteorite collided with the Earth 4 billion years ago, the impact caused this rock to fly into outer space and land on the moon. When that meteor hit the Earth, it is said that when the chunks of Earth flew out, they hit the moon, creating it’s craters. This rock, however, might’ve stayed on the moon, waiting for the astronauts to come and bring it back to Earth.

When the scientists in Sweden inspected the rock, they found some really interesting results. Bellucci states that the rock “represents pressure, temperature, and oxidation conditions not known [on] the Moon,”. Bellucci compared the zircon (a type of rock material) of the moon rock to the rocks Earth is made of and the similarities became clear. The rock showed that it was from the continent known as Australia today, however when the meteor hit, it broke off many pieces of Australia. One of them being this one! “I was like, Whoa… that’s awesome!” Bellucci told National Geographic.

Apollo 14 astronauts found an Earth rock on the moon some 50 years ago without knowing it wasn’t as foreign as they thought. Now, with new technology scientists in the Swedish Museum of Nature and Science have found out how amazing this rock’s history is. And who knows, maybe there are other pieces of Earth rocks on nearby planets that are just waiting to be discovered.