A “mysterious hut” on the moon, the latest strange lunar discovery of the Chinese rover Yutu 2

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The Chinese rover Yutu 2 is the first spacecraft to explore the surface of the far side of the moon, and the wheeled robot has made some interesting discoveries during its historic journey.

Yutu 2 landed in the Von Kármán crater on top of the Chang’e 4 lander in January 2019 and has since headed northwest during each lunar day of 14.5 Earth days, using its four science payloads to image and analyze its environment as you go.

The solar-powered rover recently spotted a Strangely cube-shaped “mysterious hut” on the horizon which has generated a lot of media buzz, although it is most likely just a rock. But other findings have also drawn attention in the past two years.

Pictures: This is what the Chinese rover Yutu 2 found on the other side of the moon

Zoom in on a cube shape spotted by the Chinese rover Yutu 2 on the far side of the moon. (Image credit: CNSA / Our Space)

Discovery of the moon and “gel type” rocks

Yutu 2 discovered an object in the middle of a small crater that was initially described by Our Space – a Chinese-language science broadcasting channel affiliated with the National Space Administration of China – by the term “胶状 物” (“jiao zhuang wu”), which can be translated as “gel-like”. There was no accompanying picture.

Outside scientists suspected that the substance was a glassy material created by an impact, and that turned out correct. A recent article in the journal Nature written by Chinese scientists reported that the material probably came from a meteorite impact on the moon less than a million years ago.

Chinese lunar rover Yutu 2 captured this image of glassy material from the edge of a small crater. (Image credit: © CNSA / CLEP)

The Yutu 2 rover and the “milestone” rock

Another discovery was a number of rock shards protruding from the surface, referred to by Our Space as a “Milestone. Again, a meteor impact is probably the culprit.

Although seemingly unremarkable, these rocks stand out against a surface that has been pulverized for billions of years by both micrometeorites and intense solar radiation. When Yutu 2 discovers large size rocks, these are usually indicators of impact activity. Such rocks provide clues to the history of the Moon and the composition of the materials excavated or ejected by the impactors, as was the case with a relatively large body of rocks. young rocks discovered in early 2020.

This photo taken by the Chinese lunar rover Yutu 2 shows the “milestone” rock lying on the lunar surface. (Image credit: CNSA)

Yutu 2 also peeked beneath the lunar surface, using its ground-penetrating radar to create an image of the layers beneath the rover by collecting the reflected electromagnetic waves. Yutu 2 detected three distinct layers in the near basement, suggesting that separate and significant events had produced ejecta in the region.

The blurry image of the “mystery hut” has left some people wondering about the quality of Yutu 2’s photographic material. However, the rover’s pair of panoramic cameras returned a huge batch of awesome pictures of the far side of the Moon.

The far side of the Moon never faces the Earth; it was not seen until the Soviet Union’s Luna 3 spacecraft traveled around the moon in 1959. Chang’e 4 and Yutu 2 therefore cannot transmit data directly to Earth and are supported by a relay satellite beyond the moon, which facilitates communications between the spacecraft and its handlers. The relay satellite, known as Queqiao, also collects some data, using a pioneering low-frequency astronomical instrument.

The Yutu 2 rover, seen shortly after landing by the Chang’e 4 lander. (Image credit: CNSA)

So far, Yutu 2 and its Chang’e 4 lander have been active for more than 1000 days (terrestrial) on the other side of the moon. Yutu 2 has defined a new longevity record for a rover working on the lunar surface, breaking the previous 321-day record set by Soviet Union robotics Lunokhod 1 vagabond.

Yutu 2 and Chang’e 4 are currently on their 37th lunar day (each being approximately 29.5 Earth days). The two solar-powered spacecraft hibernate during two-week lunar nights, when the temperature drops to minus 310 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 190 degrees Celsius).

The image of the “mystery hut” was taken on Lunar Day 36, November 2021. It is possible that the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program will release new images in the weeks following the end of Lunar Day 37, which will occur. the evening of December. 10. Yutu 2 travels on average about 20 to 30 meters (66 feet to 98 feet) per lunar day, which means that the rover should cover approximately 80 meters (260 feet) to the object on lunar day 38 or 39 .

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