The mysterious “moon hut” spotted by the Chinese lunar rover Yutu 2 is actually… a gorgeous bunny-shaped boulder.
The Yutu 2 team called the rock “the Jade Rabbit.” Announced that the rover closely examined the body Friday (January 7th). The nickname is apt, as the rover’s name, Yutu, also translates to “jade rabbit.”
The object first appeared in the field of view of Yutu 2 cameras in December, when it appeared to be a cube-shaped blur on the horizon. The rover is the first to explore the moonThe far side, which is always facing away from the earth It is more rugged and cratered than the nearby moon. Because the object appeared irregularly shaped, with a strangely flat surface, researchers at the China National Space Administration’s Outreach Program joked that it might be an astronaut’s hut, Live Science previously reported.
After a month’s traversal of the distance from the original point where the “moon hut” image was taken to the location of the object itself, the rover has now sent close-ups back to Earth. It turns out that the rock is much smaller than it appears from afar. It is also more rounded and gentle. In fact, it looks a lot like a crouching rabbit chewing two carrots (which are actually two smaller rocks). Some observers, such as Amanda Koser from CNET, so you can see rabbit poop in a few round pebbles near the other end of the rock.
“The moon’s surface is 38 million square kilometers of rock, so anything else would have been exceptional in astronomical terms,” said space journalist Andrew Jones. wrote on twitter. “But despite its small size, the Jade Rabbit/Rock would also be a huge disappointment to some.”
Jones wrote that due to the lack of perspective in the original picture, many people had hoped for a large building much like the Arc de Triomphe or the Beijing Central Television Headquarters building.
With rabbit rock cataloged, Yutu 2 will now continue to explore the 115-mile (186 kilometre) wide Von Kármán crater. The rover has been exploring the region since the Chang’e 4 spacecraft brought it to the lunar surface in its first soft landing on the far side of the moon in January 2019. The rover is The longest time ever to explore the lunar surface. He explored the porous soils that form at least 130 feet (40 meters) above the surface of the moon and investigated a A jelly-like substance with a strange color Found in the crater of a volcano. It turns out to be a molten rock from a long-term meteorite impact, the year 2020 study found.
Originally published on Live Science.