The first robot to explore the dark side of the Moon has made an incredible discovery. Since January 2019, he has been investing the satellite in order to find scientific treasures. An unknown material has thus particularly attracted the attention of researchers: it is a substance “of an unusual color, resembling gel”, indicated the specialized site Space.com.
The Yutu-2 rover discovered a “mysterious glowing gel” on the far side of the Moon on July 28, 2019, the China National Space Administration (CNSA) announced. This was observed in a snapshot from the end of July, shortly before scientists turned off the robot for one of its regular “naps”.
It was one of the researchers who noticed on September 2, a crater with a strange glow, reports the ScienceAlert site. The group then decided to change Yutu-2’s upcoming mission to send it to examine this phenomenon. According to the CNSA, this gel is “very different from the surrounding lunar soil”.
China National Space Administration, the crater where the frost was discovered
Despite the numerous analyzes made on the material, scientists still do not know what the substance corresponds to. It is speculated that the gel could be glass, which would result from the fall of a meteorite. This phenomenon is called “impactitis”. The ground would thus have been vitrified due to the high heat of the impact and subsequent cooling of the ground.
It is also not the first discovery of scholars. In 1972, the astronauts of the Apollo-17 mission had seen orange traces on the lunar soil. Geologists had concluded that it was the result of a volcanic eruption that took place three billion years ago.
Rine however has not been certified. These are indeed only guesses. Previous studies on the Moon have also shown the surprising characteristics of the satellite.
For now, the robot’s mission is to head west to continue its exploration, while periodically powering down. Further discoveries may be forthcoming. On Earth, scientists will certainly seek to better identify the nature of this strange colored gel.