In August, Chinese lunar rover Yutu-2 discovered something strange on the far side of the Moon: a mysterious substance that the Chinese space agency referred to as “gel-like” and “colored”.
And now, China’s Lunar Exploration Program has released a new photo of the substance – shedding more light on what the strange substance could possibly be.
According to experts, it’s most likely what scientists initially hypothesized: dark glass formed as a result of an impact – the same stuff American astronauts found during the Apollo 17 mission, Space.com reports.
High velocity meteor impacts are able to pressurize minerals into shiny glass that can end up refracting light in surprising ways.
“I think the most reliable information here is that the material is relatively dark,” Dan Moriarty, NASA Postdoctoral Program fellow at the Goddard Space Flight Center told Space.com.
“It appears to have brighter material embedded within the larger, darker regions, although there is a chance that is light glinting off a smooth surface.”
Previously, Yutu-2 struggled to get a closer look since the strange object was at the bottom of a crater.
The lander is about to wake up from its two week long, lunar night cycle slumber. Perhaps then, we’ll be getting more answers.
Source: Science Alert