Science

China says it's even colder on the Moon than we thought

China says it's even colder on the Moon than we thought”

The China National Space Administration (CNSA) announced on Thursday (Jan. 31) that the lander and rover both survived their first trial by ice.

"If you are in a part of the Moon where it is getting dark, you will notice that a lunar night has a duration of 14 terrestrial days, meaning that that part of the Moon would be kept in darkness for two weeks", explained the staff of the Caribbean Astronomy Society in a written statement. The Chang'e-4 probe switched to dormant mode during the lunar night due to the lack of solar power.

Chang'e 4 is also a lander-rover combination and will explore both above and below the lunar surface after arriving at the South Pole-Aitken basin's Von Karman crater following a 27-day journey. Instead, the same side of the moon always faces Earth, and the far side has been hidden from view for all of human history.

The difference between Chang'e 4's reading and the Apollo missions' is "probably due to the difference in lunar soil composition between the two sides of the moon".

"According to information submitted to the lunar probe to Earth, the night temperature in January on the surface of the back side of the moon drops to minus 190 degrees Celsius", - noted in the Chinese Corporation aerospace science and technology.

"From the panorama, we could see the probe was surrounded by many small craters".

The Caribbean Astronomy Society experts also explained that "extreme temperatures are experienced on the dark side of the Moon". The scientific instruments on its lander are still operating after more than 60 lunar nights over the past five years.

The measurement of the temperature changes between the day and night on the moon will help scientists estimate the properties of the lunar soil, Zhang said.

"It was a success, but Chang'e-3 was designed according to foreign temperature data", said Zhang. One of the things scientists were eager to observe is just how chilly the lander and its rover would get when enduring the lunar night, and now we finally know.

The probe will now continue with it´s experiments, CNSA said.

The mission of China's lunar lander is to study the cosmic radiation, the moon's environment, and the interaction between the moon's surface and the solar wind, the charged particles blown out into space by the Sun.

"It is a technology that we must master if we want to go to the moon's polar regions or farther than Jupiter into deep space, where solar power can not be used as the primary power source", he said.



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