China's Lunar Rover - Yutu-2 Sends 'mysterious' Far-side Moon Images

Science

China's Yutu-2 which was the first to soft-land on the far side of the lunar surface has recently captured an image mysterious material discovered on the moon

Written By Suchitra Karthikeyan | Mumbai | Updated On:
China

China's Yutu-2 which was the first to soft-land on the far side of the lunar surface has recently captured an interesting image on the moon -showing some mysterious material discovered, as per international reports. Reports say that Yutu-2 which is China's Chang'e-4 mission's lunar mission, has spotted a 'gel-like' substance while roving close to a small crater. Scientists have reportedly now analysed the substance despite the risks. China's Chang'e-4 spacecraft successfully landed on the moon's far side on January 2.

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Yutu-2's latest moon images

The latest images accessed by the Yutu-2 rover shows two of the rover's six wheels and the contents of an approximately 7-foot-wide (2 meters) crater. Reports state that the photo was captured by the rover's obstacle-avoidance camera. Lunar scientists have speculated that the material highlighted in the center of the crater resembles a sample of impact glass found during the Apollo 17 mission in 1972. According to archival records, astronaut Harrison Schmitt had previously collected similar samples from a crater approached by Yutu-2.

Here are the photos released by Yutu-2:

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Scientists analyse findings

Regarding the newly observed images, Clive Neal - University of Notre Dame's Lunar scientist has stated that it was nothing unexpected. Elaborating on his view, he has said that though the Chinese believe their finding is mysterious, having craters looking like those from Yutu-2 and where samples were collected by Apollo is to be expected, in conversation with a leading science news site. Meanwhile, reports state that NASA believes a definitive assessment of the substance's chemical composition is difficult, given the poor quality of the image. Further data can reportedly be analysed if higher-resolution images become available, says NASA.

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What is Chang'e 4 mission?

According to The Planetary Society, Chang'e-4 is the world’s first lander and rover missions to the Moon’s far side. The lander-rover mission Chang’e-4 launched on December 8, 2018, within the South Pole-Aitken basin on the moon. It entered lunar orbit four days later, where mission controllers spent 22 days testing the spacecraft’s systems, waiting for the sun to rise at the landing site. On January 3, 2019, Chang’e-4 successfully de-orbited and landed. Currently, Chang’e-4 and Yutu-2 are conducting science operations. Both vehicles power down during lunar nights — a roughly 2-week period each month — when their location is in darkness.

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