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China Releases New Science from the Moon on First Anniversary of Chang’e-4 Lunar Landing

Jan. 6, 2020 (EIRNS)—The Chang’e-4 team is celebrating the mission’s first full year on the far side of the Moon on Jan. 3 by releasing new photos and some early science results, reported Andrew Jones in Sky & Telescope yesterday. These are data released by the China Lunar Exploration Program (CLEP), and contained in papers published by the scientists in publications including Nature, and Earth and Planetary Science Letters.

One discovery is that Yutu-2 has found that the regolith on the far side is thicker than on the near side. They propose that that might be because the unprotected far side has had more impacts. Some of the material excavated at Von Karman Crater by its impact is from the deeper mantle of the Moon, and will reveal the history of the formation of the crater.

It is reported that the three antennae on the Low Frequency Radio Spectrometer were deployed in late November, but only one deployed to full length. But, Jones reports, this may be fortuitous, since the different antenna lengths allow the capture of signals of different wavelengths. The two shorter antennae are better suited to collect signals from the “cosmic dawn,” while the full-length antenna will listen for the longer wavelength signals that come from the “cosmic dark age” before star formation.

Yutu-2 starts its 14th 28-day lunar “day” on Jan. 19.

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