Chinese lunar rover finds 'gel-like' substance on moon

Chinese lunar rover finds 'gel-like' substance on moon

The fascinating find prompted the mission's scientists to alter the rover's travel plans: According to Space.com, the mission team postponed the lunar probe's planned route west and turned its attention to the 'space goo.' Scientists then utilized Yutu-2's Visible and Near-Infrared Spectrometer (VNIS) to analyze the unusual substance in an attempt to identify it. People's Daily additionally described the extraterrestrial slime as being "unusually colored", but did not clarify what exactly that Lovecraftian statement meant. The rover spent the day navigating a path across a region on the lunar surface that was filled with impact craters, Space.com reported.

Stunned by the discovery, the drive team called in their lunar scientists.

The discovery was made during lunar day 8 which started on July 25.

Yutu-2carefully approached the crater and then targeted the unusually coloredmaterial and its surroundings. The rover examined both areas with its Visible and Near-Infrared Spectrometer (VNIS), which detects light that is scattered or reflected off materials to reveal their makeup.

China is the first country to land a rover on the far side of the moon and the area it was set to explore was the crash site of a big asteroid that hit the lunar surface.

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So far, mission scientists haven't offered any indication as to the nature of the colored substance and have said only that it is "gel-like" and has an "unusual color".

I know you're thinking aliens but Andrew Jones, a journalist reporting on the Chinese space program, wrote one possible explanation thrown up by other researchers is that the gel-like substance is melt glass, created after a meteor strike. It was eventually determined that the soil was created during a volcanic eruption 3.64 billion years ago. A lunar day is equivalent to 14 days on Earth, the same as a lunar night.

The Chang-e-4 lander and Yutu-2 rover landed on the far side of the moon in January, becoming the first spacecraft to reach this unexplored region of Earth's only satellite.

On July 28, the Chang'e-4 team was preparing to power Yutu-2 down for a scheduled midday "nap" to protect the rover from the sun's scorching temperatures and brutal radiation.

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