China’s Yutu-2 rover, launched as part of the Chang’e 4 mission, is the first ever robot to explore the far side of the moon. Since landing in January, it’s snapped gorgeous views of the lunar surface and made one unexpected discovery. Now, its made another surprising find: hidden in a crater, Yutu-2 has discovered an unusual substance with a “gel-like” appearance.
According to a report by Space.com, the rover’s surprise discovery was made during exploration activities on lunar day 8, which began on July 25. Each lunar day lasts for two Earth weeks and during this time the solar-powered rover carries out scientific observations, measuring radiation and surveying its surrounds.
Three days into day 8, a member of the Chang’e 4 team was reviewing images taken during by the rover and noticed a strangely colored material, distinct from the gray soil around it. Yutu-2 was scheduled to move on, but the team instead turned their attention toward the substance and sent the rover to the crater for a better look. The Yutu-2 “drive diary” says the team commanded the rover to point its spectrometer, a device which can evaluate the composition of materials, at the unusual substance.
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