China’s Yutu 2 rover discovers a cube-shaped ‘mystery hut’ on the moon’s far side

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While traversing Von Kármán crater on the far side of the moon, China’s Yutu 2 rover observed a mysterious object on the horizon.

According to a Yutu 2 diary published by Our Space, a Chinese language science outreach channel affiliated with the China National Space Administration, Yutu 2 spotted a cube-shaped object on the horizon to the north and roughly 260 feet (80 metres) away in November during the mission’s 36th lunar day (CNSA).

The object was referred to as a “mystery hut” (shenmi xiaowu) by Our Space, however this was a placeholder name rather than an actual description.

Yutu 2 is now projected to spend the next 2-3 lunar days (2-3 Earth months) traversing lunar regolith and avoiding craters to get a better look at the object, so expect updates.

A big boulder that has been excavated by an impact event is a likely explanation for the shape.

On Jan. 3, 2019, the solar-powered Yutu 2 and Chang’e 4 lander landed on the far side of the moon for the first time, and the rover has been rolling through the 115-mile-wide (186-kilometer) Von Kármán crater ever since.

Chang’e 4 is China’s fourth moon mission and the second to deliver a rover to the lunar surface. Chang’e 1 and 2 were orbiters, whereas Chang’e 3 landed on the moon’s near side with the first Yutu rover. The Chang’e 5 T1 test mission around the moon and the Chang’e 5 lunar sample return mission have also been launched by China.