‘Never-seen’ images of Moon’s far side released by China
New and amazing images of the moon’s far side, where no previous mission has landed, are released by China’s aerospace authorities.
The images are widely shared on social media and have made a day for the netizens, who are able to take a new look through the lander’s and rover’s lunar eyes.
The images and videos are captured from China’s long-lived lunar robots Chang’e-4 and Yutu-2 from the far side of the moon, where they woke up for their 14th day on Jan. 18 and 19 respectively.
The data release includes high-resolution images of the moon from the Chang’e-4 lander’s terrain camera and the panoramic camera on the Yutu-2 rover.
Chang’e-4 just reached the first anniversary of its historic landing in Von Kármán Crater, within the gigantic South Pole-Aitken basin. The newly published photos cover nearly a year of pioneering exploration on the far side of the moon, where no previous mission has landed.
Slowly downloading the several thousand frames from the Chang’e 4 Landing Camera (LCAM). I’m especially fond of this as it’s 1024 x 1024 and greyscale (same as MSL/MER ECAM) This is in approx real time playing back at 10 fps of the first 1000 or so. Thousands more to go. pic.twitter.com/zLTawDvvWX
— Doug Ellison (@doug_ellison) January 20, 2020
The China Lunar Exploration Program made the data available online at a dedicated website for the country’s moon missions.
The Chang’e-4 lander and Yutu-2 rover have completed 13 lunar days on the moon. The solar-powered duo awakens between 24 and 48 hours after sunrise over the mission landing site and power down about 24 hours before sunset. Searing-hot lunar days and the brutally cold nights each last around 14 Earth days.
Yutu-2 began its 14th lunar day on Jan. 18, and the lander did so on Jan. 19, according to the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program. Both the rover and lander have now exceeded their design lifetimes of three months and one year and continue to operate with all science payloads in a healthy condition, according to the China National Space Administration.