China has dispatched a lunar rover to investigate a mysterious cube-shaped object that has been spotted on the dark side of the moon.
“The strange white object appears oddly geometric against the stark black horizon in images and prompted scientists from China’s Change 4 mission to send its Yutu 2 rover on a two- to three-month journey to check it out according to Our Space,” reported the New York Post.
China’s National Space Administration (CNSA) described the unknown object as a “mysterious hut,” while others called it the “mystery house.”
The journey won’t be easy — even though the object is just slightly more than 250 feet away. “The first challenge to meet it is the current complex terrain: the east side is densely covered with large impact craters, forming a C-shaped enclosure; the northwest is a group of ridges with uplift slopes of up to 10° with two impact craters, which hold Yutu II Firmly confined in the ‘crack,’” Our Space reported. More from the website:
If you want to continue westward, you must achieve a breakthrough, but the large slope on the northwest side has exceeded the capability of Yutu-2. In the face of the largest steep slope in history, drivers dare not venture easily and can only choose to follow a relatively steep slope. The soothing canyon tentatively moves forward, waiting for the right time to break through.
Although there seems to be hope of a breakthrough along the east-north direction… the drivers are also slightly worried about the follow-up route. Judging from the contour map, although the contour lines in the northeast direction are relatively sparse, they are faintly closed at the end of the field of view. Perhaps it will still be a steep terrain. Who will come first with opportunities and challenges? Is the choice to move on right or wrong? In this area full of unknowns on the back of the moon, everything is possible.
The organization has a good sense of humor about the mission, joking that the odd object might be a home built by aliens following a crash landing in the Von Kármán crater in the South Pole-Aitken Basin, where the rover has been exploring since January 2019. There is a “baby” impact crater right beside the mysterious shape.
In July 2019, Yutu 2 “made another unique discovery when it found a bizarre, colorful, ‘gel-like’ substance with a mysterious luster. The substance has not been explained,” the New York Post wrote.
“The Yutu-2 rover made the discovery on lunar day 8 (July 25) and so far, the Chinese space agency has not yet said what it is. Outside researchers have suggested that the gel is ‘melt glass’ that has been created from meteorites hitting the far side of Earth’s natural satellite, according to Space.com,” the paper reported.
“So far, mission scientists haven’t offered any indication as to the nature of the colored substance and have said only that it is “gel-like” and has an “unusual color.” One possible explanation, outside researchers suggested, is that the substance is melt glass created from meteorites striking the surface of the moon,” Space.com reported.
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