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China's Chang'e Rover And Lander Survive First Frigid Night On Far Side Of The Moon

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Chinese scientists announced that the Chang'e probe and lander survived the first frigid night on the moon. The temperature on the dark side of the moon is much colder than expected.   ( Pixabay )

The China National Space Administration said that the Chang’e-4 rover and lander have survived their first frigid night on the dark side of the moon. The sunlight woke them up from dormant mode after a long “sleep.”

Chang’e Lander And Rover

Chinese scientists announced that the Chang’e-4 lander and rover are in good condition after waking up from dormant mode. Evidently, the rover and lander went into dormant mode because of the lack of sunlight during their first night on the moon, which actually lasts for 14 Earth days, similar to one day on the moon.

It was the rover that woke up first so as to release the excess heat on its surface, and the lander followed about 24 hours after. According to authorities, the lander and rover are about 60 feet apart, and communication between the two are considered stable.

Temperature On The Moon

Now that sunlight has woken up Chang’e probe, Chinese scientists are receiving first-hand data about the temperatures on the far side of the moon for the first time. Evidently, the temperature on the lunar surface at night can go as low as -310 degrees Fahrenheit (-190 degrees Celsius), which is much colder than initially expected.

These are lower temperatures than were gathered during the Apollo mission on the near side of the moon. According to the scientists on the mission, this might be because of the difference in soil composition between near and far sides of the moon, but more careful analysis is needed to confirm this.

The data shows that lunar temperatures can vary widely. For instance, the probe has previously gone on standby to protect itself from heat after the agency noted temperatures of 390 degrees and higher. In the past, Chinese scientists had no data to determine how cold it can actually be.

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