Q:

How old is the moon?

A:

Quick Answer

The scientific consensus is that the Earth's moon formed four and half billion years ago. About 100 million years after the formation of the solar system, another small planet is likely to have collided with the Earth, resulting in the formation of the Moon.

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How old is the moon?
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Full Answer

The solar system was formed when a giant cloud of dust and gas condensed to create the Sun. The planets were formed from leftover material that began to orbit the sun. Shortly after the formation of the solar system, a collision between Earth and a planet approximately the size of Mars created the Moon, which remained in Earth's orbit as its only satellite and which affects several natural processes including the Earth's tidal pattern.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why does the moon appear to take on a colored hue during an eclipse?

    A:

    According to Astronomy Magazine, the moon turns red during a lunar eclipse because it is illuminated by the light that refracts through Earth's atmosphere. While the moon may pass into Earth's umbral shadow, the light that bends around the planet is enough to give its satellite an eerie red pallor.

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  • Q:

    Why does the moon appear bright?

    A:

    The moon appears bright because the side visible on Earth reflects the light from the sun. As the moon and the Earth move around their respective orbits, different portions of the moon are visible to people on Earth, depending on the angle at which the light hits the moon and reflects back to Earth. The moon reflects back about 12 percent of the light from the sun that hits it.

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  • Q:

    Where does the moon rise?

    A:

    The moon rises in the eastern sky and sets in the western sky because of Earth's rotation. Its rising and setting positions vary throughout the year from northeast/northwest to due east/west to southeast/southwest.

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  • Q:

    When does the moon disappear?

    A:

    The moon is not visible to observers on Earth during its new moon phase, when the moon is located on the same side of Earth as the sun. During this phase, the portion of the moon that is illuminated by the sun faces entirely away from the Earth.

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