BEIJING, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) – Chinese probe Chang & # 39; e-4, which made the world's first soft landing at the far end of the moon, discovered that the temperature of the lunar surface had dropped to minus 190 degrees Celsius, colder than expected.
This is the first time Chinese scientists have obtained first-hand data on the temperature on the surface of the far side of the moon during a lunar night.
The National Space Administration of China announced on Thursday that the rover and the landing of the probe Chang & # 39; e-4 were awakened by sunlight after a long "sleep" during their first extremely cold night on the moon.
As a result of the tidal blocking effect, the cycle of rotation of the moon coincides with the cycle of rotation, and the same side of the moon always faces the Earth.
"According to the measurements of Chang & # 39; e-4, the temperature of the shallow layer of lunar soil on the opposite side of the moon is lower than the data obtained by the US Apollo mission on the near side of the moon," he said. Zhang He, executive director of Chang & # 39; e-4 research project from the Chinese Academy of Space Technology.
“This is probably due to the difference in the lunar composition of the soil between the two sides of the moon. We still need a more thorough analysis, ”said Zhang.
The lunar day on earth is 14 days, and the lunar night is the same length. The probe Chang & # 39; e-4 has switched to sleep mode on a moonlit night due to lack of solar energy.
The temperature varies greatly between day and night on the moon. Previously, Chinese scientists did not have data on how particularly cold it can be.
In the all-terrain vehicle and on the landing ship there was a radioisotope heat source that helped to warm the probe on a moonlit night.
The descent vehicle was also equipped with an isotopic thermoelectric cell and dozens of temperature data collectors to measure the temperature on the lunar surface on a lunar night.