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The Chinese lunar rover finds a strange substance in the moon’s hidden face

The Chinese lunar rover finds a strange substance in the moon's hidden face 96

The Yutu-2 Chinese lunar rover of the Chinese mission Change 4, which carries out a study of the hidden face of the Moon, found a substance “that looks like gel” and is distinguished from other materials observed on the surface of the natural satellite of the earth.

The Chinese lunar rover finds a strange substance in the moon's hidden face 97

Chinese lunar rover

Crater where the strange substance was found.

According to the “navigation diary” of Yutu-2, on August 17 a project specialist examined images taken by the camera of the rover’s and observed a strange substance in a crater. Then, the scientists decided to postpone the operations that the device had to carry out before entering hibernation during the eighth lunar day of the mission and ordered him to analyze not only the discovery itself, but the territory near the crater in question.

The rover examined the area with its near and visible infrared spectrometer (VNIS), which detects the light scattered or reflected by the materials to reveal its nature.

Chinese lunar rover

The rover going to investigate the crater with the substance.

So far, mission scientists have not given an explanation about the mysterious substance, just saying that its constitution resembles that of a “gel” and has an “unusual color” that highlights it from its surroundings. Some researchers have suggested that it could be melted glass created from the impact of one or more meteorites on the lunar surface.

However, and looking for precedents of something similar, it can be concluded that the recent discovery of Yutu-2 is not the first surprise of this kind. Harrison Schmitt, astronaut and geologist of the Apollo 17 mission, found an orange substance on the surface near the landing site in 1972 (Taurus-Littrow). The lunar geologists eventually concluded that it was a soil created during a volcanic explosion in the satellite about 3.6 billion years ago.

The Chinese lunar rover finds a strange substance in the moon's hidden face 98

Orange soil discovered by the Apollo 17 mission.

The ‘gel’ was said to stand out because it was different in shape, colour and texture to the rest of the crater.

Yutu-2, also referred to as the Jade Rabbit 2, examined the crater with its Visible and Near-Infrared Spectrometer (VNIS).

This technology is able to determine the chemical composition of a substance by analysing the light that reflects from its surfaces.

It won’t be able to tell for sure if the substance is a squishy gel or hardened molten though so further analysis is still needed.

Yutu-2 is still exploring the dark side of the Moon for new discoveries.

The Chinese lunar rover finds a strange substance in the moon's hidden face 99
China’s Chang’e-4 probe landed on the moon Credit: Alamy Live News

It was released on the Moon back in January when China’s Chang’e 4 lander reached the “dark side” of the lunar surface.

It is popularly called the “dark side” because it can’t be seen from Earth and is relatively unknown, not because it lacks sunlight.

The Chinese lunar rover finds a strange substance in the moon's hidden face 100
The Chinese lunar rover finds a strange substance in the moon's hidden face 101

In other news, a bonkers lift from Earth to the Moon has been proposed by scientists in a mad bid to cut the cost of space travel.

Nasa’s chief wants Pluto to be classified as a planet again.

And, an Earth-sized rocky planet has been found orbiting a nearby star – and there is a chance it could be habitable.

Will it be the same in the main case of this news or will it be something else?

Source: Space.com

Space

In December, Earth’s inhabitants will be able to see a rare cosmic phenomenon

In December, Earth's inhabitants will be able to see a rare cosmic phenomenon 106

At the end of the year, astronomers expect to see a rare cosmic phenomenon dubbed the “Christmas star” in the sky. It will be caused by the fact that Saturn and Jupiter come close to each other at a minimum distance and almost collide to become one super-bright point of light.

These two planets became one straight line in the solar system a few weeks ago, but at the end of December they will be on it for observers from Earth. This will happen on December 21, 2020, on the day of the winter solstice, when the daylight hours are the shortest and the night is the longest. Jupiter and Saturn will look like a “double planet” for the first time since the Middle Ages, Forbes writes.

“The conjunctions of the two planets are extremely rare, but this particular conjunction is especially rare because the planets will be very close to each other,” Patrick Hartigan, astronomer at Rice University, USA said. “In order to observe a closer conjunction of these planets in the night sky, we would have to return on March 4, 1226.”

It is noted that the unusual celestial phenomenon can be observed from anywhere on the planet. The main thing is that the sky is clear. The “Christmas Star” can be seen in the western sky about an hour after sunset when viewed from the northern hemisphere.

“On the evening of their closest approach, December 21, they will appear as a twin planet, separated by less than 1/5 the diameter of the full moon,” Hartigan said. “For most amateur astronomers looking at the night sky through a telescope, both planets and several of their largest satellites will be in the same field of view this evening.”

In December, Earth's inhabitants will be able to see a rare cosmic phenomenon 107

Those who want to see Jupiter and Saturn converge in the sky as close, but will be higher above the horizon, will have to wait until March 15, 2080, Hartigan said. After that, a similar configuration for this planetary pair will not be observed until 2400.

Astronomers are already preparing equipment to analyze in detail the upcoming event. Everything is very serious, because the second such rapprochement between Jupiter and Saturn cannot be expected.

Of course, there will not be a collision of planets. You just get the impression that something terrible is about to happen in the solar system. Astronomers have assured that there is no reason to worry.

Is the “Christmas Star” an omen of things to come? Mark your calendars! 

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Space

A giant asteroid worth $ 17.4 billion is approaching Earth

A giant asteroid worth $ 17.4 billion is approaching Earth 108

NASA announced the imminent flight of a potentially dangerous asteroid will pass the Earth. The website of the Center for the Study of Near-Earth Objects says that a celestial body ranging in size from 370 to 820 meters will approach the planet on November 29.

The asteroid, consisting of nickel, iron and cobalt, is approaching the Earth. The cost of minerals in its composition reaches $ 17.4 billion, with reference to the Asterank database, which contains data on 600 thousand asteroids.

The distance between the asteroid 153201 (2000 WO107) and the Earth will be more than 4 million kilometers, the Space Reference specified with reference to NASA data. It is noted that the distance from the Earth to the Moon is 10 times less, and the asteroid is considered dangerous because it crosses the orbit of our planet.

According to the NASA Center for the Study of Near-Earth Objects, the celestial body will approach the Earth on November 29. 

It is noted that this time the asteroid does not pose a threat to the planet, however, it belongs to the group of potentially dangerous ones, since its trajectory crosses the Earth’s orbit.

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Space

Intrusive buzzing. The Perseverance rover recorded the space sounds of its flight to Mars

Intrusive buzzing. The Perseverance rover recorded the space sounds of its flight to Mars 109

NASA’s new rover is equipped with a microphone to record sounds during landing on the Red Planet.

NASA’s Perseverance rover, which is en route to Mars, has recorded its flight to the planet.

The new rover is equipped with a microphone designed to record sound when entering the atmosphere, descent and landing. The device should arrive on the Red Planet in February 2021.

But before the rover reached its destination, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) released an audio file recording what the rover “hears” during its interplanetary voyage.

The 60-second recording, posted on SoundCloud, was captured on Oct.19 while checking the rover’s EDL and microphone system.

Experts explain that the buzzing sound comes from a pump that pumps fluid to regulate the rover’s temperature.

NASA compares the new hit for your playlist to the noise you hear on wired headphones when the wire rubs against your clothing. It was these mechanical vibrations that the Perseverance microphone picked up.

“Located at the rear of the starboard side of the Perseverance, the pump is part of the unit’s heat system that maintains operating temperatures for the equipment, even in the coldest locations,” JPL said in a statement.

“I apologize to the person who came up with the slogan for the film” Alien “(” No one in space will hear your scream “- ed.), Perhaps no one will hear the scream, but perhaps a pump to remove heat will be heard,” says a leading engineer at JPL Dave Gruel.

He added that the microphone picks up the hum of the pump through mechanical vibration.

The Perseverance rover is supposed to land on Mars on February 18, 2021 in the Jezero crater – it is believed that a riverbed used to pass through this area. This is one of those places where traces of living organisms on the planet could be preserved.

The main mission of the rover is to detect signs of life in order to advance the study of the ancient history of Mars. In addition, the device will become part of a mission to deliver samples from the surface of the red planet: it will dig out rock at certain points, and then another device will pick them up, which will send them to Earth.

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