January 25, 2021

The first panoramic image of the hidden face of the Moon | Science

The first panoramic image of the hidden face of the Moon | Science


The Chinese probe Chang'e-4 continues to send images from the dark side of the Moon. Today, the Chinese space agency, the CNSA, published a 360-degree panorama made from photographs taken by a camera of the lander. The same agency published an exchange of photos between the explorer robot and the landing module, which were portrayed to each other. According to the Chinese news agency Xinhua, those images appeared on a large screen of the Beijing Aerospace Control Center on Friday, showing the national flag of China in both before the desolate panorama full of craters on the far side of the Moon.

Although it still has to carry out radio astronomy observations or biological experiments, China announced today that the Chang'e-4 mission, with which the first soft landing was made on the dark side of the Moon, has been a complete success.

The Chang'e-4 probe arrived at our satellite on January 3. It touched down on the south of the Moon, inside the Von Karman crater in the Aitken Basin at the South Pole. The explorer robot Yutu-2 began to travel the hidden face of the moon that same day, but then went into hibernation mode to withstand the solar radiation that hits the moon hard during his days, which last 13 Earth days and a half. At those times, the temperature exceeds 100 degrees Celsius. On Thursday he resumed his work.

360 degree image taken by the Chinese probe Chang'e 4 on the hidden side of the Moon.
360 degree image taken by the Chinese probe Chang'e 4 on the hidden side of the Moon.

The main objective of the Chang'e 4 probe is to analyze the composition of the terrain and the relief of the area, which could give clues to the origins and evolution of the satellite. That moon face, invisible from Earth, is very different from the one we know. If the exposed side shows flat basalt seas and relatively few craters, the other side is full of these and its composition looks different. The Chinese mission could collect data on the evolution and geology of this unknown area of ​​the satellite.

The mission, in addition to analyzing the data of the lunar surface, will also include other scientific experiments. Chang'e 4 carries on board silkworm eggs, potato seeds and flowers to observe germination, growth and respiration in the low gravity conditions of the lunar surface.

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