Science

China’s Yutu 2 rover detects a cube-shaped ‘mystery hut’ on the opposite side of the moon

An image from China’s Yutu 2 showing a cube-shaped object on the horizon on the far side of the moon. (Image credit: CNSA / Our Space)

China’s Yutu 2 rover has detected a mysterious object on the horizon as it made its way through the Von Kármán crater on the opposite side of the moon.

Yutu 2 spotted a cube-shaped object on the horizon to the north and approximately 260 feet (80 meters) away in November on the mission’s 36th lunar day, according to a Yutu 2 diary published by Our Space, a Affiliate Chinese-language science outreach channel. with the China National Space Administration (CNSA).

Our Space referred to the object as a “mysterious hut” (神秘 小屋 / shenmi xiaowu), but this is a placeholder name rather than an accurate description.

This enlarged image shows a closer look at a cube shape detected by China’s Yutu 2 rover on the opposite side of the moon. (Image credit: CNSA / Our Space)

Scientists on the team have expressed great interest in the object and Yutu 2 is now expected to spend the next 2-3 lunar days (2-3 Earth months) traversing the lunar regolith and avoiding craters to get a closer look, so that updates can be expected.

A likely explanation for the shape would be a large rock that has been excavated by impact.

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The solar powered lander Yutu 2 and Chang’e 4 made the first landing on the opposite side of the moon on January 3, 2019, and the rover has been rolling through the 186 kilometers of Von Kármán . crater since then.

Chang’e 4, as the name suggests, is China’s fourth lunar mission and the second to deliver a rover to the moon. The Chang’e 1 and 2 missions were orbiters, with Chang’e 3 landing on the near side of the moon with the first Yutu rover. China has also launched the Chang’e 5 T1 round-the-moon test mission and the Chang’e 5 moon sample return mission.

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