China's Yutu-2 rover has spotted a mystery cube-shaped object on the far side of the Moon.
China’s Yutu-2 rover, which has been operating on the far side of the Moon since 2019, thrilled researchers with a photograph of a mystery cube-shaped object. The news was announced by the authoritative journalist Andrew Jones, who specializes in covering news specifically from China’s space program for several renowned platforms. According to him, researchers have called the site a “mystery house”.
China’s Yutu-2 rover spotted a mystery cube-shaped object on the far side of the Moon
Researchers were stunned by the shape of a distant object captured by the Yutu-2 spacecraft on the far side of the Moon. Unfortunately, it is located at a great distance from the lunar rover – approximately 80 km from it.
Over the next 2-3 lunar days (I remind readers that one lunar day is equal to 29.5 Earth days), Yutu-2 will head to the site to study it in more detail. This means we would have to wait months to learn about it in detail but we are certain that the Chinese will release more images as the rover approaches the site. It is likely that we will know exactly what it is long before the final approach.
Although the find is curious and, of course, became viral in hours, the “mystery house” is hardly a monolith or an object left by aliens. It is probably a giant rock thrown away by the collisions between the moon and small celestial bodies.
Nevertheless, speculations will continue until Yutu-2 reaches the object. In each case, even if it is ‘just a rock’, the study of such rocks is important because it sheds light on the evolution of the solar system and our natural satellite.
The Chinese rover has now worked for over 1,000 days on the Moon
The Chang’e 4 station went into space in December 2018, and in January 2019 the descent vehicle with the Yutu-2 lunar rover made a soft landing on the far side of the Moon.
Initially, it was assumed that the lunar rover will work for three months, and the platform for no more than a year, but at the moment they have worked for more than a thousand Earth days, which is an absolute record among lunar automatic vehicles. During this time, the rover traveled over 840 meters, exploring boulders and lunar regolith, as well as near-surface layers.
During its operation, the lunar rover made a number of geological discoveries, in particular, it found particles of the lunar mantle and determined the structure of the subsurface layer at the landing site. In addition, the devices measured the level of radiation near the surface of the moon and for the first time grew cotton as part of a biological experiment.
The Chang’e 4 mission with the Yutu-2 rover has been extended indefinitely. This means that it will continue for as long as the rover survives. This is not something surprising given that most of NASA’s missions in space always get extended but the success of Yutu-2 is impressive given that China’s space exploration program is still quite ‘young’. See a collection of incredible images from the far side of the Moon here.
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• Clarke, A. (2021, December 5). China ‘s Lunar Rover Yutu-2 sees a cube-shaped object on far side of Moon. Science Times.
• Hood, A. L. (2021, December 4). Chinese rover exploring what appears to be cube-shaped object on Moon. Futurism.
• Kooser, A. (2021, December 3). China lunar rover to check out cube-shaped ‘mystery house’ object on far side of the Moon. CNET.