Chinese rover finds lunar nights ‘colder than expected’
Chinese rover finds lunar nights ‘colder than expected’
Chang'e-4 finds moon's far side colder than expected during night - Xinhua | English.news.cn
02 February, 2019, 14:14
As a result of the tidal locking effect, the moon's revolution cycle is the same as its rotation cycle, and it always faces Earth with the same side.
The Yutu 2 rover rolls away from the Chang'e 4lander shortly after the mission's historic January 3 touchdown on the moon's far side. The soil is also much colder than that on the near side of the Moon. It's the first detection data of lunar night temperature obtained by China's lunar exploration project.
China's lunar lander has woken from a freezing fortnight-long hibernation to find night-time temperatures on the moon's dark side are colder than previously thought, the national space agency said yesterday.
In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, the Chang'e 4 lunar probe launches from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province.
The static lander, which launched on 7 December, touched down at 10:26 am Beijing time on 3 January in the South Pole-Aitken basin.
The Chinese Chang'e-4 lunar mission is returning data again after a scheduled two-week rest period.
"From the panorama, we could see the probe was surrounded by many small craters".
Scientists associated with Center for Lunar Science and Exploration that is part of NASA's Solar System Exploration Institute have found an old piece of rock that could have blasted out of earth and landed on the moon from a lunar sample brought home by astronauts of Apollo 14.
At the end of 2013, China launched Chang'e-3, the country's first spacecraft to soft-land on the moon.
Both the lander and rover used radioisotope heater units (RHU) to protect against the deep cold of the lunar night. The biggest challenge for China moving forward will be the successful completion of its Chang'e 5 mission, which will send a lander to the Moon's surface to grab a sample of its material before heading back to Earth. "And potato could become a major source of food for future space travellers", said Professor Liu Hanlong, chief director of the seed experiment and Vice President of Chongqing University.
The scientific tasks of the Chang'e-4 mission include low-frequency radio astronomical observation, surveying the terrain and landforms, detecting the mineral composition and shallow lunar surface structure, and measuring neutron radiation and neutral atoms.
"It is a technology that we must master if we want to go to the moon's polar regions or farther than Jupiter into deep space, where solar power can not be used as the primary power source", he said.
The National Weather Service says the wind chill around 3 a.m. was negative 51 degrees (negative 46 Celsius). University Police found 18-year-old Gerald Belz behind a campus hall just before 3 a.m. on January 30.
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