There's a big difference between the side of the Moon we can see, and the side we can't. Although it seems pretty pockmarked to the layperson, "our" side of the Moon is actually the smooth half. On the dark side, there's huge mountain ranges and much bigger craters.
There are lots of theories that seek to explain this disparity. The newest: Earth once had two moons. And the smaller of the pair eventually crashed into its larger sibling on the side that faces away from Earth. From the BBC:
Dr Martin Jutzi from the University of Bern, Switzerland, is one of the authors of the paper. He explained: "When we look at the current theory there is no real reason why there was only one moon.
After spending millions of years "stuck", the smaller moon embarked on a collision course with its big sister, slowly crashing into it at a velocity of less than three kilometres per second - slower than the speed of sound in rocks.
... In a commentary, Dr Maria Zuber from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, US, suggests that while the new study "demonstrates plausibility rather than proof", the authors "raise the legitimate possibility that after the giant impact our Earth perhaps fleetingly possessed more than one moon".
In other words, this isn't so much a proven thing, as the scientific equivalent of a plot bunny. The researchers hope to inspire studies that would either prove them wrong, or lend credence to their ideas. This could end up being the start of something big. Or it could eventually be regarded with about as much respect as the suggestion, "What if Moon were cookie?" We'll have to wait to find out.
Image: A mini-guide to our wonderful Moon, a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from dingopup's photostream
Frog tongue mechanism has been well-documented, but only recently have scientists started looking at the remarkable combo of tongue softness and frog spit’s chemical makeup.
Elenco’s Night ‘n Day Mechanical Globe uses a system of translucent, exposed gears to rotate an internally illuminated globe that displays the seasonally adjusted, real-time night/day terminator as it spins.
KSU plant biochemical geneticist Raj Nagarajan describes the properties of Thaumatin, Monellin and Brazzein, all found in west African plants that are generally considered safe for consumption; each is a protein, and they are, respectively, 1,000x, 2000x, and 3000x sweeter than sugar.
Making people aware of goods and services in the digital age requires an array of new strategies from social media and email to number-crunching tools like Google Analytics. To get a handle on the techniques used to capture attention and convert traffic into dollars in a crowded online environment, the Full-Stack Marketer Bundle offers 22 hours of training to get […]
Having a luxurious bed isn’t just a fairy tale from a catalog; it is a real, affordable possibility with offerings like this Olive+Owen bedroom set. If you’re thinking of doing some “spring cleaning”, this bed set is an easy way to completely upgrade your room in one purchase.This 20-piece collection has all of the expected slumberland elements, […]
Python is immensely popular in the data science world for the same reason it is in most other areas of computing—it has highly readable syntax and is suitable for anything from short scripts to massive web services. One of its most exciting, newest applications, however, is in machine learning. You can dive into this booming […]