China’s Yutu 2 rover trundling on the Moon has spotted a mysterious outcrop on the far side of the lunar surface. The Chinese rover is in the Von Kármán crater on the lunar surface and spotted the cube-shaped object about 80 metres away from its location.
According to a diary of the mission published by Our Space, a Chinese language science outreach channel with the China National Space Administration (CNSA), the rover had made the discovery in November this year when it was on the 37th day on the lunar surface.
Dubbed “mystery hut” by Chinese scientists, the Yutu-2 team has expressed interest in visiting it and exploring the structure. According to reports, the rover is likely to spend the next two to three months in the region exploring the outcrop, which involves a treacherous journey to reach it in the first place.
“This object pierced through the winding of the skyline, like a “mysterious hut” that appeared out of thin air. There was a large “baby” impact crater beside it. Was it a home built by aliens after the crash landing? Or is it the pioneer spacecraft of the predecessors to explore the moon?” a loose translation of the diary published in Chinese read.
“This thing is interesting! Let’s go check it out!” scientists told pilots, who first reported the mysterious finding.
China’s Chang’e-5 mission had recently revealed that the remnants of solidified lava brought back by the mission were a billion years younger than material acquired by other missions decades ago. Last December, the uncrewed Chinese probe touched down on a previously unvisited part of a massive lava plain, the Oceanus Procellarum or “Oceans of Storms”. About 1,731 grammes of lunar samples were later retrieved and brought back to Earth.
One of the main objectives of Chang’e-5, named after the mythical Chinese goddess of the moon, was to find out how long the moon remained volcanically active.
WHAT IS YUTU-2 ROVER?
Yutu-2 was delivered on the far side of the Moon’s surface by the Chang’e-4 mission to within the Moon’s South Pole-Aitken basin in 2019. The rover is exploring the surface, which has never seen the Sun’s light and scientists speculate it could have information about the early solar system and Earth.
The rover is packed with two colour cameras, a Lunar Penetrating Radar to see subsurface up to more than 100 meters along with studying its regolith. Meanwhile, the Visible and Near-Infrared Imaging Spectrometer will study the mineral composition of the lunar surface and the Advanced Small Analyzer for Neutrals (ASAN) to determine how the solar wind interacts with the lunar regolith.