Discovery by Yutu 2 Rover
While traversing Von Kármán crater on the far side of the moon, China’s Yutu 2 rover observed a mysterious object on the horizon.
In November, on the mission’s 36th lunar day, Yutu 2 saw a cube-shaped object on the horizon to the north, about 260 feet (80 meters) away. Our Space, a Chinese language science outreach channel linked with the China National Space Administration, submitted this to a Yutu 2 diary (CNSA).
The cube-shaped object was dubbed a “mystery hut” (/shenmi xiaowu), however, this was more of a naming convention than an accurate depiction.
Yutu 2 is now projected to spend the next 2-3 lunar days (2-3 Earth months) crossing lunar regolith, thanks to the team’s significant interest in the item. It will also avoid cratering to get a better aesthetic, so expect updates.
Predictions about the mystery-object
A big boulder that has been excavated by an impact event is a likely explanation for the shape.
On Jan. 3, 2019, the solar-powered Yutu 2 and Chang’e 4 landers created history by landing on the far side of the moon for the first time. Since then, the rover has been rolling through the 186-kilometer-wide Von Kármán crater.
Chang’e 4 is China’s fourth moon mission and the second to transport a rover to the lunar surface. Chang’e 1 and 2 were orbiters, whereas Chang’e 3 landed on the moon’s near side with the first Yutu rover. The Chang’e 5 T1 test mission around the moon and the Chang’e 5 lunar sample return mission have also been launched by China.