A close-up view of the mystery rock seen by the Yutu rover. Credit: CNSA.
Back in early December 2021, Chinas Yutu 2 rover made headlines when it spied what looked like a curious cube-shaped item on the Moons surface. Of course, speculations ran widespread. And it didnt assist matters any when the China National Space Administration (CNSA) nicknamed the object the “mystery hut.”
An upgrade today from Yutus cameras exposes the real nature of this item. Yup, its just a rock. And not very cube-shaped, either.
Numerous planetary geologists and astronomers had realistically forecasted the things was likely a just intense colored, blocky boulder sitting on the edge of a crater rim. Orbital images from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter didnt show anything uncommon– rocks and more rocks on a cratered lunar surface. The perceived cube shape may have been just a pixelated view of a far-off object.
However, “just a rock” does not mean its not intriguing. An odd-shaped, intense chunk of rock resting on the edge of a crater likely has a fascinating history, geologically speaking.
Orbital view from NASAs Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) of the Chang e 4 lander (in square) and the secret hut object (arrow) on the edge of a crater about 260 feet (80 meters) away. Location of the things was perhaps validated by area journalist Andrew Jones on Twitter. Image through NASA/ GSFC/ Arizona State University/ LROC. Image notation through EarthSky
Journalist Andrew Jones has been tracking Chinas area undertakings carefully and posted this upgrade today:
The Chinese website OurSpace releases its “Yutu No. 2 Driving Diary,” a journal of the rovers travels. The site is connected with CNSA, and it described how the rover passed through the estimated 80 meters (262 feet) to take a better photo of the “hut.”.
” Far away in the sky, the “strange hut” as high as the Arc de Triomphe turned out to be really little when approached,” composed the extremely poetic researchers who compose on Our Space. This is … Yutu!”.
The original view from Chinas Yutu 2 rover of the “mysterious hut” on the Moon. Credit: CNSA.
The site then goes on to say now the rock is named “Jade Rabbit,” given that it looks like “a rabbit about to eat, and the image was so amusing that I could not assist but laugh. Was the dream of the “strange home” on the horizon just its calling?
Yutu has been slowly roving across the lunar surface area since landing in Von Kármán crater on the far side of the moon on January 3, 2019. The Our Space website keeps in mind that since January 6, 2022, Yutus cumulative mileage finally surpassed the 1,000-meter mark, reaching reached 1003.9 meters by the time it reached the rock.
Lead image caption: The view of the secret rock on the edge of the crater from a short range, as seen by the Yutu lunar rover. Credit: CNSA.
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Back in early December 2021, Chinas Yutu 2 rover made headings when it spied what looked like a curious cube-shaped things on the Moons surface area. And it didnt help matters any when the China National Space Administration (CNSA) nicknamed the item the “mystery hut.”
An update today from Yutus cams exposes the true nature of this item. Numerous planetary geologists and astronomers had logically predicted the things was likely a just intense colored, blocky boulder sitting on the edge of a crater rim. Orbital view from NASAs Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) of the Chang e 4 lander (in square) and the secret hut item (arrow) on the edge of a crater about 260 feet (80 meters) away.