Which Feature of Earth's Moon Is the Oldest?

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The dark spots that you commonly see when you look at the moon are called the Mare. Find out which feature of the Earth's moon is the oldest with help from an experienced education professional in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: About Astrophysics & Outer Space
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Eylene Pirez, and I'm an astrophysicist and this is, "What feature of the Earth's moon is the oldest?" So when we look at the moon and we see dark spots and we see light spots. So the dark spots are called the Mare, and the light spots are called the Highlands. And an important thing to keep in mind is that the moon's surface is not changing. It doesn't have any form of plate tectonics, it doesn't have an atmosphere that causes erosion, no wind, nothing has changed in the actual land form of the moon. So these things have been intact and is actually a really good clock for us to figure out where things are formed. Now some of the oldest things and I will talk about this, the rocks that were brought back from the mare are about 3.5 billion years old. The actual ejecta from some of these places, from some of the Mares, it was 3.9 billion years. Now, you would think that's the oldest but the actual oldest is the Highlands and from the Highlands we have actually found rocks that are about 4 to 4.2 billion years old. So that meas the Highlands, the light ground of the moon is actually older than the Mare and those are the oldest features of the moon. My name is Eylene Pirez, and I'm an astrophysicist, and this is the old features of the Earth's moon.

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