Uncovering the Unknown: How Old Discoveries Became New
Wood Samples Collected 100 Years Ago Helped Modern Science in Unexpected Ways
by Vanessa Shell, age 12
In 1901, astronomer A. E. Douglas had an idea about how to study the effect of sunspot cycles on the Earth. Little did he know that this very idea would ultimately lead to some important discoveries.
How did Douglas develop this idea in the first place? Simple: he cut down a tree, measured it with calipers, and looked at its growth rings. A tree's rings give an invisible record of the conditions during and the time at which the tree lived. In fact, anything made out of wood gives a record of the conditions during its existence. [Read More]