Is that a boulder? Or something else?
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
That distant, somewhat cube-shaped object is the “mystery house” China’s Yutu-2 rover is planning to take a closer look at.
The Yutu-2 rover is on a roll. It’s been exploring the far side of the moon since early 2019 as part of . It now has its eyes set on a strange-looking cube-shaped object it spotted in the distance.
Andrew Jones, a journalist who covers the Chinese space program for SpaceNews and Space.com, highlighted a new rover update in a series of tweets Friday. The nickname for the cube-shaped object translates to “mystery house.”
Ah. We have an update from Yutu-2 on the lunar far side, including an image of a cubic shape on the northern horizon ~80m away from the rover in Von Kármán crater. Referred to as “神秘小屋” (“mystery house”), the next 2-3 lunar days will be spent getting closer to check it out. pic.twitter.com/LWPZoWN05I
The rover team is planning to drive over and get a closer look at the object.
As with inside a crater in 2019, don’t get too excited for aliens. That substance turned out to be . And as far as I know, Stanley Kubrick never planted a monolith on the real moon, and those haven’t made the trek across space.
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Yutu-2’s view of the cube is fuzzy and far-off, so the object’s true nature should become clearer as the rover gets closer. The most likely explanation is a boulder. This part of the moon is pockmarked with impact craters, which can feature quite a bit of chunky debris.
The Chang’e-4 mission represents the first surface exploration of the far side of the moon. The rover’s work has helped scientists learn about .
Don’t look to Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon for scientific information about the lunar far side. China’s rover is solar-powered, so it periodically goes into hibernation when it’s dark and then gets back to work when the sun is out in the Von Karman crater.
According China Daily, Yutu-2 has already traveled 2,756 feet (840 meters) across the moon. Its next jaunt should shed some light on the “mystery house.”