China’s Yutu-2 rover, which landed on the far side of the Moon as part of the Chang’e 4 mission, has made an unusual find on the satellite’s surface. According to a report from Space.com, the Yutu-2 rover has found “gel-like” substance inside a crater.
The discovery was made on lunar day 8, which started on July 25. Each Lunar day is around two Earth weeks.
- The report adds that the discovery of the gel-like substance on the Moon has ensured that scientists are now focusing the rover’s instruments to figure out this material.
- Yutu-2 was navigating through an area filled with small impact craters. The ‘drive diary’ for Yutu-2 noted the finding of the gel-like substance. As of now, it is not clear what this is, but it raises a whole set of new questions for Chinese scientists.
- One explanation, according to the report, is that the substance could be melt glass which was created from meteorites striking the surface of the moon, though the Chinese space agency has not confirmed anything.
- China’s Chang’e 4 mission became the first one to land on the far side or the dark side of the Moon earlier this year. Previously, it was reported that the lunar probe had found new evidence from the Von Kármán crater inside the South Pole-Aitken (SPA) basin on the Moon. This is also the largest crater in the solar system.
- The Yutu-2 probe has also collected spectral data samples from the basin. The findings give an insight into how the Moon evolved.
- The rocks found in the crater contain minerals such as low-calcium (ortho)pyroxene and olivine. These are also the primary components of the Earth’s upper mantle.
- China’s Chang’e 4 mission will also conduct the first radio astronomy experiments from the far side and see whether plants can grow on the surface.