There is something strange in the neighborhood.
China's Yutu 2 rover spotted a strange object on the far side of the Moon. In a blurry image, it appears to be a cube-shaped object.
Our Space referred to it as a "mysterious hut" on a post on the social network.
Was it a home built by aliens after the crash landing? Is it the pioneer craft of the predecessors to explore the Moon?
The answer is that it's probably neither of those things, but the Moon has a lot of rocks. It will take another two or three months for Yutu 2 to close the distance to study it up close.
The solar-powered rover needs to shut down for the duration of the lunar night, which lasts two weeks, as well as when the Sun is directly overhead, to prevent overheating.
There are clues that offer a hint as to the cube's identity, such as a relatively fresh impact crater nearby. The object could be a boulder excavated during the impact, a phenomenon previously observed on the Moon.
It's not an obelisk or aliens, but something to check out, and hard to discern much from the image. The Chang'e 3 mission launched 8 years ago on Dec 1 and shows large boulders being excavated by impacts.
December 3, 2021.
It's not the first strange thing Yutu 2 has found on the side of the Moon. It came across a strange substance described as "gel-like", that turned out to be lunar rock melted into glass due to an impact.
The Moon gets hit a lot.
Even if aliens are present, a closer look at the "mysterious hut" will show us something about the Moon. If it's a boulder that has been excavated from below the lunar surface, we may be able to learn something about the composition of the Moon underneath the top layer of rock and rubble. Scientists from the CNSA want to get a closer look.
The rock was seen during the 36th day of operations on the Moon. It is on its 37th lunar day after landing in January.
Yutu 2 and Chang'e 4 are still going strong, and are closing in on the end of their third year.