First panoramic image of moons far side

Mindy Sparks
March 6, 2019

The Chang'e-4 mission - named after a moon goddess - made the world's first soft landing on the moon's far side on January 3.

According to the news of the official news agency Xinhua, the Chinese National Space Administration (CNSA) released photos showing a huge 360-degree view taken from the camera on the top of the lender. The photos reveal a seemingly endless horizon of grey, rocky terrain.

The rover, known as Yutu 2 aka Jade Rabbit, will inspect the Moon's surface using a spectrometer, and will probe underground materials using radar.

The South Pole-Aitken basin, where Chang'e 4 landed, is one of the biggest and oldest impact craters on the moon.

The lander and its rover, Yutu 2, took a picture of each other and sent them back to Earth via Queqiao, the relay satellite over the far side of the moon, to market the occasion.

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Figure 1 First surface image from the far side
Figure 1 First surface image from the far side

China's national space agency has released the first panoramic images of the far side of the Moon since the historic landing earlier this month. The Chinese mission was to land on the side of the moon that is never seen from earth due to the moon rotation, a phenomenon called "tidal locking".

"From the panorama, we can see the probe is surrounded by lots of small craters, which was really thrilling", Li was quoted as saying. In a press release, CNSA said their Chang'e 4 mission was a success, and thanked "significant global cooperation", for their major space milestone. It was reported in the news that these photos were sent from Quakyaio satellite.

"Researchers completed the preliminary analysis of the lunar surface topography around the landing site based on the image taken by the landing camera", CLEP said in a statement accompanying the release of the images.

He said the Chang'e-4 landed at an altitude of almost minus 6,000 meters. This is a great mystery that has not been solved.' Scientists are hopeful that the Chang'e 4 mission and the follow up will help them learn more about the far side of the moon. The deepest region on the moon, where there is an altitude of minus 9,100 meters, is about 700 kilometers to the south of the probe.

The start of the new year is the start of a new beginning, and this couldn't be truer for the current state of human space exploration, as we finally conquer what legendary rock band Led Zeppelin has dubbed as the "dark side of the moon" in their iconic 1973 album of the same name. "We will conduct comparative research between the landing areas of Chang'e-3 and Chang'e-4", Li said.


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