26 November 2012: a liquid natural gas tanker (example pictured) becomes the first large cargo vessel to attempt a winter crossing of the Arctic.As the Arctic sea ice melts in coming years, the sea route may become increasingly viable for large ships.The Moon is thought to have formed about 4.51 billion years ago, not long after Earth.
The year 2012 involved many significant scientific events and discoveries, including the first orbital rendezvous by a commercial spacecraft, the discovery of a particle highly similar to the long-sought Higgs boson, and the near-eradication of guinea worm disease.
A total of 72 successful orbital spaceflights occurred in 2012, and the year also saw numerous developments in fields such as robotics, 3D printing, stem cell research and genetics.
Over 540,000 technological patent applications were made in the United States alone in 2012.
21 November 2012: in a breakthrough for quantum cryptography, scientists send encoded quantum signals using a standard commercial fiber optic, potentially allowing near-unbreakable quantum data security to be commercialised.
The Top 10 New Species 2013 was announced on by the International Institute for Species Exploration, commemorating unique species discovered during 2012.