If dinosaurs would’ve taken the time to look up at the moon about 100 million years ago, scientists believe they could've seen something very (very) different than what we see today.
As Space reports, scientists had previously thought volcanic activity on the moon ended approximately 1 billion years ago. But new findings from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter seems to indicate volcanoes were erupting and lava was flowing as recent as 100 million years ago. That’s a big difference.
The find partially originated from images taken by Apollo 15 of an odd volcanic deposit known as Ina. Unlike the extremely old formations on the moon, scientists believe that area could’ve been formed much more recently — meaning we don’t know nearly as much about our celestial neighbor as we’d thought.
Oh, and one other thing: The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has discovered more than 70 similar areas in the dark parts of the moon, meaning there could’ve been dozens and dozens of volcanoes erupting on the moon when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. Some could’ve even been as recent as 50 million years ago, which is just a blink when you think of the age of the universe. We didn’t find these additional spots until now because those specific deposits are typically too small to be spotted from Earth.
LRO project scientist John Keller noted that the data could potentially “make geologists rewrite the textbooks about the moon.” A bit hyperbolic, maybe, but those are strong words regardless.