The oldest earth rock ever to be discovered was taken to the moon by NASA astronauts nearly 50 years ago.
This is, according to an amazingly new study, which finds that a piece of lunar rocks collected during the walk of Apollo 14 contains a little ancient piece of our planet.
The stone is released from Earth when a huge asteroid or comet collides with our planet 4 billion years ago, scientists say.
The blow sends debris that is carried in the earth's atmosphere and in the moon, which at that time were sitting three times closer to Earth than today.
The ancient earth rock gradually mixed with the moon soil to form a single sample that was taken by the astronauts billions of years later, NASA bushmen say.
"This is an extraordinary discovery that helps to paint a better picture of the early Earth and the bombings that changed our planet during the dawn of life," said team member Dr David Kring.
The ancient lump, codenamed 14321-46, is one of the dozens of lunar rocks collected by NASA astronauts at Apollo 14 in 1971.
Since then, it has been in NASA's archives, while an international team of scientists uses new techniques to explore its chemical composition.
Quartz, feldspar and zircon have been found, which are common on Earth but rarely occur on the moon.
Analysis shows that the scale formed by warm Earth-related temperatures is not the cold climate of the moon's surface.
It has also been forged in an atmosphere similar to the Earth that contains oxygen.
Based on these findings, the team believed that the rock was crystallized 12 miles below Earth's surface about 4 billion years ago.
He was driven out of one or more huge space shocks that at that time regularly left craters on Earth thousands of miles wide – powerful enough to pour rocks buried miles beneath the surface of the planet.
The crystal traveled 80,000 miles before crashing into the moon, where it slowed into the soil, leaving traces of ancient Earth.
When Apollo 14 astronauts picked up a lunar rock covered with these ancient traces, they had no idea they had small fragments on our planet.
Dr. Kring thinks there's a big chance more than NASA's lunar samples to contain prehistoric pieces of the Earth and cause scientists to find more.
The study is published in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters.
NASA has not landed anyone on the Moon since Apollo 17 since 1972, but the space agency has suggested that it is planning a return to the moon.
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NASA chief Jim Brittenstein hinted in November that the space agency would make a triumphant return to the moon "sooner than you think."
His comments came days after the agency released an epic video promising new border studies 50 years after Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon.
NASA can fight when it arrives – a recent theory of conspiracy suggests that alien bases lie on the mysterious, distant side of the rocky world.
How do you think the ancient earth rock has reached the moon? Share with us in the comments!
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