What hut did the Chinese moon rover find?


At the beginning of 2019, the Chinese interplanetary station Chang’e-4 landed on the far side of the moon. This station also brought the lunar rover “Yuyta-2” to the lunar surface, which sent amazing photographs to Earth. In the photo you can see an object that looks like a hut. But what is it really?

The main tasks of «Chang’e-4» were the landing of the module in the von Karman crater, the collection and study of samples of lunar soil that could help scientists in the study of the geological history of the Moon. In addition, there is a small closed biosphere on board the station, which contains seeds of cotton, rapeseed, potatoes, some mushrooms, as well as fruit fly (fruit fly) eggs, which are monitored by two cameras.

In addition to scientific tasks, the mission allowed China to test space communications systems.

The most important part of Chang’e-4 is the Yuytu-2 lunar rover. It is rather small: it is 1.5 meters long and about one meter wide. The lunar rover is equipped with solar panels and three pairs of wheels. The lunar rover also has four panoramic cameras, a special ground-penetrating radar, allowing to explore various layers of regolith and many other instruments.

More recently, many articles have been published on the network about how the Chinese lunar rover «Yuytu-2» photographed a mysterious object on the horizon. These photographs were first published in China by the state-run popular science channel Our Space. The object in the photo was named “the mysterious hut”. According to Our Space, this object is located at a distance of about 80 meters from the lunar rover.

Scientists are very interested in the mysterious object, but the quality of the image does not allow them to examine the object in more detail and understand what it might actually be. Therefore, it was decided to direct the lunar rover towards this “mysterious hut”.

Nevertheless, while scientists believe that, probably, this object is a large boulder, which, for example, could break away from a meteorite at the moment of impact on the surface of the Moon. Similar remains have already been found during the Chang’e-3 mission, which was launched eight years ago.

To find out exactly what this object actually is, you need to wait about 2-3 lunar days, that is, 2-3 Earth months, until the lunar rover gets to the mysterious object and can send higher quality images. “Why is it taking so long?” — you ask, because the speed of advance of this lunar rover is only 80-90 centimeters per day. This is due to the fact that he needs to bypass large pits and stones, of which there are a lot on the surface of the moon.

After analyzing more detailed images, it will be possible to refute or, which is unlikely, to confirm the hypothesis of the “mysterious hut”.

Author: Alexey Nimchuk. Edited by Fedor Karasenko.

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