50 Things We Know Now That We Didn't Know Last Year

We all look to the sky at night and think, "Oh, hey. Cool. The moon is still there."

We know it's the moon because, well, it looks like the moon always looks. Powder white with some grey patches that resemble a particularly bad case of teenage acne.

But we only see half of the moon. The other side, the dark portion facing away from earth, has only been seen by spacecrafts. Turns out the terrain is way different from the bright half, with rare metals such as radioactive potassium, uranium and something called thorium.

Now scientists think that the moon may have once collided with a second, 750-mile-wide moon that was orbiting the earth.

The point is, the moon is the kind of ever-present thing we think we know everything about. And then some pile of hardware flies by and changes the conventional wisdom.

Every year brings a new batch of stuff that updates the books, in a matter of speaking. Here's a bundle of fresh discoveries that were revealed during 2011.

Reply
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml . If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.