Chinese rover finds lunar nights 'colder than expected'

Chang'e 4 checks out the far side of the moon.                  China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation

Chang'e 4 checks out the far side of the moon. China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation

As a result of the tidal locking effect, the moon's revolution cycle is the same as its rotation cycle, and it always faces Earth with the same side.

China's Chang'e-4 probe touched down on the far side of the moon Thursday, becoming the first spacecraft soft-landing on the moon's uncharted side never visible from Earth.

"That´s probably due to the difference in lunar soil composition between the two sides of the moon", he said.

This is the first time Chinese scientists have received first-hand data about the temperatures on the surface of the moon during the lunar night.

China's Chang'e-4 lunar lander was awakened by sunlight at 20:39 BJT on Wednesday to continue its mission on the far side of the Moon. The Chang'e-4 lunar probe, which descended into the Von Karman crater on January 3rd, detected sub-zero temperatures of minus 310 degrees Fahrenheit (about -190 degrees Celsius).

Scientists associated with Center for Lunar Science and Exploration that is part of NASA's Solar System Exploration Institute have found an old piece of rock that could have blasted out of earth and landed on the moon from a lunar sample brought home by astronauts of Apollo 14.

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

But day also carries the risk of correspondingly high temperatures.

Scientific instruments on board China´s previous Chang´e-3 moon mission, sent in late 2013, have withstood over 60 lunar nights and are still in operation, Xinhua said.

The temperature was lower than conditions reported by US missions to the near side of the moon, according to Chang'e-4 mission director Zhang He, speaking with China's state-owned news agency Xinhua.

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

During the first lunar day, the lander and the rover photographed each other, and a camera installed on the top of the lander took 360-degree panoramic photos on the surrounding of the probe. These include the first "low frequency radio astronomy experiment", an investigation into whether plants can grow in a low gravity environment and if interaction between solar winters and the lunar surface exists. "And potato could become a major source of food for future space travellers", said Professor Liu Hanlong, chief director of the seed experiment and Vice President of Chongqing University.

The Chang'e-4 mission embodies China's hope to combine human wisdom in space exploration, with four payloads developed by the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden and Saudi Arabia.

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