A new mission may reveal the secrets of the “hidden side” of the moon

Editor’s Note: A version of this story appeared in CNN’s science newsletter Wonder Theory. To get it in your inbox, Sign up for free here.


Over the past few years, rival nations have turned the moon into a hotspot of activity not seen since the Apollo 17 astronauts exited the lunar surface in 1972.

In one lunar region, Japan’s Moon Sniper mission has overcome the odds and survived three long, frigid lunar nights since its side landing on January 19.

Engineers at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency didn’t design the spacecraft to last through a single lunar night, a two-week period of freezing darkness, but Moon Sniper continues to thrive amid the lunar extremes and Submit new photos of the landing site.

Elsewhere, an international team of astronomers believes it has settled into a crater created a few million years ago when something massive collided with the moon’s surface — sending a chunk of the moon’s far side, or the side facing away from Earth, hurtling. in the space. the A large piece of the Moon has become a rare semi-satelliteOr an asteroid orbiting near Earth.

The Tianwen-2 mission will visit the space rock later this decade. But first, China set its sights on it Return to the “hidden side” of the moon.


Illustration depicting the far side of the Moon, with Earth behind it.

The Chang’e-6 mission, which launched on Friday, aims to return the first samples from the Antarctica-Aitken Basin, or the largest and oldest crater on the Moon. Since the Chang’e 4 mission in 2019, China remains the only country to have landed on the far side of the moon, sometimes called the “dark side” of the moon.

See also  The Vanishing Stars citizen science project opens the skies to the public

Experts say the “dark side” of the Moon is actually a misnomer, and that the farthest lunar hemisphere receives illumination – scientists don’t know as much about the region as they would like.

The far side, with its thick crust, is very different from the near side explored during the Apollo missions.

Scientists hope that samples returned from the far side can solve the problem Some of the biggest remaining lunar mysteriesIncluding the true origin of the moon.

Papyrologists studying the Herculaneum manuscripts have been able to decipher revealing details about Plato’s last night and final resting place.

When Mount Vesuvius erupted in AD 79, volcanic ash charred and buried the papyrus scrolls, but experts have extracted insights from the fragile artifacts using innovative technology.

The Greek philosopher’s burial site was likely a secret garden near the sacred shrine within the Platonic Academy in Athens, according to Graziano Ranocchia, a professor of papyrology at the University of Pisa.

Ranocchia added that the translated text indicates that Plato was not a fan of it Flute music was played as he lay on his deathbedPointing out that he commented to one of the guests about his “little rhythm.”

Courtesy Netflix

Researchers have reconstructed the face of a Neanderthal woman, who was in her mid-40s when she died 75,000 years ago.

About 75,000 years ago, a Neanderthal woman was buried in a cave with a rock under her head like a pillow.

Now, scientists have reassembled her skull using 200 bone fragments in a ‘high-stakes 3D puzzle’. Recreating Shanidar Z’s facewhich is named after the cave in Iraqi Kurdistan where paleontologist Dr Emma Pomeroy found the remains in 2018.

See also  Is Seattle ready for MEGAQUAKE? Scientists find two fault lines capable of triggering a 7.8 magnitude earthquake

“Her face is quite large for her size,” said Pomeroy, an associate professor of archeology at the University of Cambridge. “She has really big eyebrows, which we don’t usually see, but I think you’re wearing fashionable clothes that you probably wouldn’t look at twice.”

Amateur archaeologists have discovered a puzzling 1,700-year-old artifact that represents “one of archeology’s greatest mysteries,” according to the Norton Disney History and Archeology Collection.

The 12-sided object is 3 inches (8 cm) wide, hollow, and covered in holes. that it One of the largest Roman dodecahedrons ever foundThere are only about 130 of them in the world.

No one knows what it was used for, and dodecahedrons are still absent from Roman and mosaic literature. But it is possible that these objects played a role in religious rituals or rituals.


A male Sumatran orangutan treated a facial wound by chewing the leaves of a climber plant and repeatedly applying juice to them, scientists said.

Rakos, a Sumatran orangutan who lives in Gunung Leuser National Park in South Aceh, Indonesia, surprised scientists when they saw him Deliberately treating the wound on his face Using a medicinal plant.

It is the first time that researchers have documented such behavior in great apes.

Rakos, who was likely injured by another male orangutan, was chewing the leaves of a plant known locally as acar kuning, which is used in traditional medicine to treat dysentery, malaria and diabetes.

He then applied leaf juice to his wound, making researchers wonder whether the pain-relieving treatment was accidental or a learned behavior from other wild orangutans.

See also  Fluorescent mammals are more common than we thought – even cats do it

Take a deep dive into these interesting reads:

– A new analysis of the remains of hunter-gatherers from a cave in Morocco reveals the true “paleo” diet. What was already on the stone age menu 13,000 years ago.

– The Boeing Starliner spacecraft, carrying astronauts Sonny Williams and Butch Wilmore on a test flight, has now gotten the green light from NASA to do so. Trying to launch Monday evening To the International Space Station.

– Do you remember the game “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon”? Scientists have identified what they call A Gene “Kevin Bacon Degrees”.which could provide the genetic basis that determines how central you are in your social network.

– Here comes that voice! Learn all about periodical cicadas in this visual guide to Rare double appearance for 2024.

And don’t forget to look up in the early hours of Sunday and Monday to see Eta Aquariids meteor shower It also dazzles in the night sky.

Like what I read? Oh, but there’s more. Register here To receive in your inbox the next issue of Wonder Theory, brought to you by CNN Space and Science writers Ashley Strickland And Katie Hunt. They find wonder at planets beyond our solar system and discoveries from the ancient world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *