Yutu-2, the autonomous rover launched from China’s Chang’e-4, has sent back photographs of a bizarre ‘gel like’ substance on the surface of the Moon during its exploration of the rarely-photographed far side.
The discovery was made on July 28, but details are only now beginning to emerge from the Beijing Aerospace Control Centre.
The Chang’e-4 team was preparing to power down the robot rover as part of a regular ‘nap’ to protect its electronics from the harsh radiation and high temperatures while the Sun was directly overhead.
As they did so, one of the supervising scientists spotted a small crater that seemed to have a strangely shiny appearance.
So far, mission scientists haven’t been able to determine what the substance is. All the information that has so far been released says that it is “gel-like” and has an “unusual colour”.
The surface of the Moon is a near-vacuum, and temperatures can reach 260 degrees Fahrenheit (127 degrees Celsius).
There is no known substance that can remain a gel under these kinds of conditions.
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Source: Daily Star