A Chinese space rover has found a mysterious cube-shaped thing on the surface of the Moon.
The Yutu-2—a robotic rover operated by the Chinese government—was crossing the Von Kármán crater on the far side of the Moon in November when it came upon an object that Our Space, a Chinese language science outreach channel affiliated with the China National Space Administration, colloquially described as a “mystery hut” according to a translation by Space.com.
Ah. We have an update from Yutu-2 on the lunar far side, including an image of a cubic shape on the northern horizon ~80m away from the rover in Von Kármán crater. Referred to as "神秘小屋" ("mystery house"), the next 2-3 lunar days will be spent getting closer to check it out. pic.twitter.com/LWPZoWN05I
— Andrew Jones (@AJ_FI) December 3, 2021
The rover took an image of the object from 260 feet away—too far for astronomers to get a definite sense of the object’s identity. But Yutu-2 is slated to spend the next two to three lunar days (or two to three months on Earth) traveling the region of the Moon to get a closer look at it. The main obstructions on this part of the Moon, the Our Space diary notes, are craters and slopes.
There’s no definitive word yet on what the object is; it’s likely merely a stone dug up by a meteor impact, Space.com noted. This is likely because Our Space notes there is a contact crater next to the cube.
The Yutu-2 was the first rover to land on the far side of the Moon in 2019 for the Chang’e 4 mission, the Chinese government’s fourth lunar expiration mission. Knowledge of this hemisphere is limited relative to what we know about the rest of the moon.