China claims its Yutu-2 lunar rover has stumbled upon an unusually colored “gel-like” substance on the bottom of an impact crater on the far side of the Moon — and they have no idea what it is.
The Chinese space agency has remained vague about the nature of what its rover found, referring to it as a “colored mysterious substance” in the rover’s diary as translated by Google. Its shape “shape and color is significantly different from the surrounding lunar soil,” according to the diary.
Our best guess as to what it might be: a type of glass material that formed as a result of the heat caused by the meteor impact itself. It remains unclear if the substance has any gel-like properties or is rather a solid object with a reflective surface.
Yutu-2, or “jade rabbit” in Mandarin, had to shut down its systems and take a nap after the discovery.
The rover set off on its journey across the mysterious surface of the far side of the Moon — the less-studied, mountainous half that faces away from the Earth — on January 4 after being dropped off by lander Chang’e-4.
READ MORE: China’s Lunar Rover Has Found Something Weird on the Far Side of the Moon [Space.com]
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