They discovered that the far side of the moon is covered with “sticky” soil and small craters



22 ene 2022 21:41 GMT

Pictures taken by the rover show that many of the fine metal meshes on its wheels are covered in dirt.

A team of Chinese researchers recently published in the journal Science Robotics a study Where they state that the floor of the far side of the moon, in addition to being full of small craters and lacking smooth oceans of solid lava scattered on the other side, “sticky“.

The researchers obtained this data thanks to the Yutu-2 rover, part of China’s Chang’e 4 mission, which in 2019 became the first mission to land on the far side of the Moon.

The pictures taken by the rover show that many fine metal meshes of its wheels covered with dirt I collected while rolling on the moon.

These details contrast sharply with the experience of Yutu-2’s predecessor, the Yutu, which landed on the near side in 2013. Although both rovers have nearly identical designs, the original Yutu hasn’t collected significant piles of dirt on its wheels for more than two years. Exploration only some fine powder.

According to experts, this is probably because volcanic activity on the far side stopped earlier than the near side, so its soil Older And exposed to the harsh conditions of space for a longer period.

The process itself is known as space weathering, and it involves absorbing repeated impacts by micrometeorites, which crush dirt into fine particles, melting them, and collecting them into larger, irregularly shaped glass droplets, called agglutination.

These irregular shapes can mesh with each other more easily, forming large lumps. Since the far side surface is older and more corroded, it makes sense that it would be More aggregates, which are more viscous and stick to wheels more easily.

On the other hand, Yutu-2 also found many small craters. Of the 88 pits the team documented in the study, 57 of them were less than 10 meters wide, the width of 2 was only more than 60 meters.

New data provided by the probe may help researchers better understand the history and characteristics of the mysterious far side of the moon.

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