April 14, 2021

The hidden side of the Moon photographed from a Chinese satellite

The hidden side of the Moon photographed from a Chinese satellite


A camera on board the Chinese satellite Longjiang-2 has taken this spectacular image of the hidden face of the Moon with Earth in the background second.

The snapshot was taken with a camera connected to a ham radio transceiver aboard the Chinese satellite Longjiang 2 currently in orbit around the Moon, and transmitted to Earth, where it was received with the radio telescope Dwingeloo, in the Netherlands.

According to a statement from this observatory, this image represents the culmination of several observation sessions in recent months in which the Dwingeloo telescope was used in collaboration with the Chinese team of the Harbin University of Technology, manufacturer of the on-board radio transceiver of Longjiang-2, and radio amateurs all over the world.

The on-board transceiver of the Longjiang-2 was designed to allow radio amateurs to transmit downlink telemetry and retransmit messages through a satellite in lunar orbit, as well as order them to take downlink images. In that it has been successful, since many radio amateurs have received telemetry and image data.

The Longjiang-2 satellite entered the orbit of the Moon in June 2018 and was launched along with the Queqiao communications probe from China, which has been instrumental in the country's recent Chang'e-4 lunar landing. In January, the Chang'e-4 landed successfully on the opposite side of the Moon, the side that always faces Earth. However, it needs the Queqiao satellite to be located in a stable position near the Moon, where it sends radio signals from both Longjiang-2 and Chang'e-4 to Earth.

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