Published: Sat, February 02, 2019
Science | By

Chinese rover finds lunar nights 'colder than expected'

Chinese rover finds lunar nights 'colder than expected'

As a result of the tidal locking effect, the moon's revolution cycle is the same as its rotation cycle, and the same side of the moon always faces Earth.

We have since taken pictures of the far side with the lunar orbiter, giving humans the first clear look at it in its entirety, but China's Chang'e-4 lander isn't there for sightseeing. 'That's probably due to the difference in lunar soil composition between the two sides of the moon, ' CNSA's Zhang He told Xinhua. It's the first detection data of lunar night temperature obtained by China's lunar exploration project.

Finally, the Chinese scientists detailed that between Wednesday 29th and Thursday 30th, the Sun began to illuminate again the area where the Chang'e-4 lunar prober and the Yutu-2 rover are located, so, in addition to continuing with several experiments, they anticipate that, during the next few days, new images of the dark side of the Moon would be received.

A low-temperature environment for a long time poses a severe challenge to the survival of lunar probes, while Chang 'e-4 successfully solved the problem of no illumination and low temperature by providing heat for the probe through the configuration of an isotope heat source.

Data from the Apollo missions had already revealed that the moon's sunlit surface can climb to 260 degrees Fahrenheit (127 degrees Celsius) during the day, and drop to minus 280 F (minus 173 C) at night.

The Chang'e-4 lander, imaged by the Yutu-2 rover, on the far side of the Moon in January 2019. "We still need more careful analysis", Zhang said.

But day also carries the risk of correspondingly high temperatures.

The Chinese Chang'e-4 lunar mission is returning data again after a scheduled two-week rest period.

At the end of 2013, China launched Chang'e-3, the country's first spacecraft to soft-land on the moon. The scientific instruments on its lander are still operating after more than 60 lunar nights over the past five years.

The temperature was lower than conditions reported by USA missions to the near side of the moon, according to Chang'e-4 mission director Zhang He, speaking with China's state-owned news agency Xinhua.

China's Chang'e 4 lander and rover are in good shape following a cold spell on the moon.

NASA's Curiosity rover also adopts this power technology, freeing it from the sunshine, sand and dust restrictions that have affected its predecessors Opportunity and Spirit, he explained.

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