Chinese lunar probe snaps breathtaking panoramic PHOTOS of Moon’s far side

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The pictures were transmitted by a relay satellite to a control centre in Beijing, although it wasn't immediately clear when they were taken.

Scientists have said the far side is a key area for solving several unknowns about the moon, including its internal structure and thermal evolution.

Among the images is a 360-degree panorama stitched together from 80 photos taken by a camera on the lander after it released the rover on to the lunar surface, Xinhua said, citing Li Chunlai, the deputy director of the National Astronomical Observatories of China and commander-in-chief of the Chang'e 4 ground application system.

The Chinese spacecraft Chang'e-4 landed successfully on the far side of the Moon, on January 3 and it has just released its first panoramic image of the never-before-explored lunar landscape.


The China National Space Administration (CNSA) is giving us a firsthand look at a mysterious part of the moon after placing its Chang'e 4 lander on the lunar far side in early January.

China's Jade Rabbit-2 rover awoke from its extended nap on the moon on Thursday, taking to social media to inform space enthusiasts that it's headed back to work after its five-day hibernation.

"The information from the depths of the Moon will be one of our focuses in the exploration", Li said.

As a result of the tidal locking effect, the moon's revolution cycle is the same as its rotation cycle.


The program has achieved five consecutive accomplishments, said CNSA, referring to Chang'e-1, Chang'e-2, Chang'e-3, a test craft for Chang'e-5 and Chang'e-4.

The Chang'e 4 lander, as seen by the Yutu 2 rover.

It is the first time a soft landing has been performed on the Moon's far side - also known as the dark side because it faces away from Earth and remains comparatively unknown - due to challenges relaying signals.

The SPA Basin, where the Chang'e-4 probe landed, is the largest and deepest basin in the solar system, with a diameter of 2,500 km and a depth of more than 10 km.


The original Yutu rover from the 2013 Chang'e-3 mission to the lunar near side also took a similar break during its first lunar day in Mare Imbrium. The exploration might offer clues as to why the bombardment occurred, said Zou.

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