While China is fighting the coronavirus, the country can low-key celebrate a scientific achievement these days.
Just a bit over a year after landing, China’s Chang’E-4 continues to reveal what lurks on the far side of the Moon.
SciTechDaily reveals that the latest study in this regard was published a couple of days ago in Science Advances, and it reveals what lurks below the surface of the Moon.
40 meters below the surface of the Moon
Chang’E-4 (CE-4) has landed on the eastern floor of the Van Kármán crater, which is located near the Moon’s south pole, back on January 3, 2019.
After landing, the spacecraft did not waste any time and it has immediately deployed its Yutu-2 rover, which uses Lunar Penetrating Radar (LPR) to investigate the underground it roams.
“We found that the signal penetration at the CE-4 site is much greater than that measured by the previous spacecraft, Chang’E-3, at its near-side landing site,” according to the paper’s author LI Chunlai.
He continued and revealed that “The subsurface at the CE-4 landing site is much more transparent to radio waves, and this qualitative observation suggests a totally different geological context for the two landing sites.”
The team used the LPR to send radio signals deep into the surface of the moon and they managed to reach a depth of 40 meters below by the high0frequency channel of 500 MHz. This is more than three times the depth that has been reached before.
This way, experts were able to develop an approximate image of the subsurface stratigraphy.
According to the online publication mentioned above, “Despite the good quality of the radar image along the rover route at the distance of about 106 meters, the complexity of the spatial distribution and shape of the radar features make identification of the geological structures and events that generated such features quite difficult,” – they cited SU Yan, a corresponding author who is also affiliated with NAOC.