Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Did you know?

Geophysicists Mark Wieczorek and Mathieu Le Feuvre from centre national de la recherche scientifique have suggested, after much research, that the dark side of the moon may once have been visible from Earth - and, therefore I assume, would have gone under a different name. May I suggest "the light side of the moon"?

Wieczorek and Feuvre propose that around 3.9 billions years ago an asteroid hit the moon and flipped her 180 degrees. According to computer calculations, if the moon has always spun with its current rotation then the lead hemisphere (the western hemisphere of the moon, which faces "forwards" during orbit), as viewed from Earth, should show evidence of 30% more craters than the eastern hemisphere. They found that although a hemispheric difference existed, interestingly the eastern hemisphere showed signs of ancient craters where the western hemisphere displayed younger impact scars.

This suggests that the moon's orientation was once different and the eastern hemisphere was the front rather than rear windscreen for the moon.

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