Mysterious substance photographed on Moon's far side: Details here
Last year, China's Chang'e-4 mission delivered a rover called Yutu-2 on the far side of the Moon, the part that never faces Earth. The robotic contraption has since been studying the satellite. And now, in a major development, it has sent images showing a strange kind of material, something that looks quite different from the surrounding lunar regolith. Let's take a look at it.
The team behind Yutu-2 first spotted a 'colored mysterious substance' while strolling on the far-side late last month. It was described as a gel-like material, which looked completely different in shape, color, and texture from the surrounding lunar soil. The discovery sparked widespread interest from the scientific community as well as speculations around what this material might actually be.
To delve more into this material, scientists took Yutu-2 closer to the material, which appears to be located in the center of a crater on the far side. The position of the substance made it difficult for the rover to reach close enough, but its obstacle-avoidance camera, which keeps the vehicle from bumping into obstacles, did manage to capture and transmit a few shots.
The images, released by the Chinese lunar exploration program through Our Space's WeChat account, show a rectangular object sitting at the center of the 2-meter-wide crater. The agency is expected to capture more shots of the substance, but so far, the best guess is that it is a piece of lunar glass formed after the impact of a meteorite.
We could learn more about the origin and evolution of this material with future observations and photographs from Yutu-2. But, the data won't come anytime before next week. The vehicle is currently silent as the Sun has set in the region and will start operating - and sharing data - once it rises in a week from now.