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Chinese rover to explore the “mystery hut” spotted on the far side of the moon

A strange object made by the Chinese rover Yutu 2.

A strange object made by the Chinese rover Yutu 2.
Image: CNSA / Our space / Gizmodo

Intriguing cube-shaped object attracted the attention of scientists working on the Chinese mission Chang’e 4 on the far side of the moon.

Against the backdrop of the blackness of space, the object protrudes from the horizon like a sore finger. He practically begs the Yutu 2 rover to come and say hello – and the controllers of the Chang’e 4 mission seem to be ready to obey. according to to Our Space, a Chinese-language science news channel affiliated with China’s National Space Administration (CNSA).

“Mysterious hut”, as our space describes it, was discovered in the Von Karman crater in the South Pole – Aitken basin. This location on the far side of the moon is where Utu 2 has worked since the mission landed.here on January 3rd, 2019.

Mission controllers ordered a six-wheeled vehicle to scan the surrounding skyline when “a haunting cube on the northern horizon caught their attention,” writes Our Space (in Google translation). “Was it a house built by aliens after a crash landing? Or is it a pioneer spacecraft that explored the moon?»The message continues.

The low-res zoom view isn't very useful, but here it is anyway.

The low-res zoom view isn’t very useful, but here it is anyway.
Image: CNSA / Our space

They are probably joking – or at least I hope they are joking – but Andrew Jones, SpaceNews correspondent covering China’s space program, took a more restrained view: tweet that “this is not an obelisk or aliens, but definitely something to check,” adding that large boulders “are sometimes excavated by impacts.”

The object’s true shape is difficult to discern, and its strangely geometric proportions may be the result of pixelation, a visual artifact seen in low-resolution images. (Visual artifacts are always a reason for consideration when something particularly surprising appears in space images, for example, a ray of light seen on Mars in 2014.)

Tthis is not the first strange thing to notice during the Chang’e 4 mission, which turned out to be nothing. And nothing I mean stones. Back in September 2019, Yutu 2 faced green and shiny gelatinous substance– not at all what the rover will find on the moon – it turned out impact melting breccia– fragments of rocks stuck together as a result of extreme heat. Most recently, the rover noticed unusual shards sticking out from the surface, which were thrown out as a result of impact by stones. So the chances are very high that the mysterious hut is a stone or boulder.

However, it would be prudent to further explore this object. just to be sure, and that seems to be what should happen. Our space reports that the object is 260 feet (80 meters) from the current location of the rover. and that Yutu 2 will take about two to three months to get to it.

Chang’e 4’s mission has already led to the emergence of new interesting scientific achievements, such as opening of mantle material on the far side of the moon, and this last distraction is a fun bonus. We look forward to seeing this apparent boulder in more detail, but for now we can all secretly hope that Yutu 2 stumbles upon something much more exotic, like an alien probe or the remnants of an interstellar spaceship.

More: The strangest images ever taken on Mars




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