Chinese satellite sends image of moon's captures rear side

The last time a human set foot on the moon was in 1972. Image credit- Pexels licensed under CC0

The last time a human set foot on the moon was in 1972. Image credit- Pexels licensed under CC0

Longjiang-2 captured this photo during the new moon, when the Earth-facing side of the moon was completely dark and the far side was entirely illuminated instead.

The probe, comprising a lander and a rover, touched down at the pre-selected landing area at 177.6 degrees east longitude and 45.5 degrees south latitude on the far side of the moon. The probe finally awoke from its hibernation on Tuesday after seeing the light of the sun.

Chang'e-4 found that lunar temperatures dropped lower than expected during the night.

In a statement to Xinhua News, Chang'e mission director Zhang He said, "That's probably due to the difference in lunar soil composition between the two sides of the moon". Earth's moon is the largest, in proportion to its parent planet, of any moon of any of the eight major planets in the Solar System.

Chang'e 4, part of China's ambitious plan to become a major space power by 2030, is composed of two parts: a lander, which powered the journey to the moon, and a rover, which detached from the lander after impact to explore the moon's surface. Many observers have noted that this particular feat has propelled China's reputation as a space superpower.

The massive mountain range in the background is the west wall of Von Kármán crater, rising more than 3,000 meters (9,850 feet) above the floor.

During the Chang'e-4 landing, DSLWP-B remained silent for some days to avoid interfering with the communication between the ground controllers and the Chang'e-4 lander. Communication is made possible through a relay satellite called Queqiao. Additionally, a camera installed on top of the lander was able to take a 360-degree panoramic photo of its lunar surroundings. The mission will retrieve samples from Earth's natural satellite or scout for water on the surface.

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