Chang'e 4 probe reveals what's underneath the far side of the moon

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China's Chang'e 4 lunar mission has provided a glimpse into what lies beneath the far side of the moon.

On January 3, 2019, the Chang'e 4 lunar probe landed on the floor of the Von Karman crater, on the moon's south pole. CNN reports that several hours after touchdown, the Chang'e 4 deployed the Yutu-2 to roam and explore the surface.

According to a paper published in Science Advances, the rover used its Lunar Penetrating Radar to send radio signals to the lunar subsurface, up to a depth of 40 meters.

Paper author Li Chunlai says this is three times the depth that the Chang'e 3, China's previous mission, was able to measure.

After combining the radar image with tomographic data and quantitative analysis, researchers found that the subsurface was made primarily of highly porous, granular material, embedded with boulders of different sizes.

According to CNN, this is likely due to the moon being frequently hit by meteors and other space debris during the early days of the solar system.

When an object strikes the moon, the impact ejects a wave of material. The cratered surface becomes the top layer over time, with layers of boulder and fine debris buried beneath.

Researchers say the findings could shed more light on the geological evolution of the moon's dark side. And as Yutu-2 continues to explore the area, the team is also looking into the possibility of returning samples to Earth.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Chang'e 4 landing on the moon's far side
2. Deployment of Yutu-2 rover
3. Yutu-2 rover using lunar penetrating radar on moon's subsurface
4. Radar penetrating three times the depth compared to Chang'e 3
5. Subsurface consisting of larger rocks embedded in porous material
6. Layers resulted from frequent impacts on moon surface

VOICEOVER (in English):
"On January 3, 2019, the Chang'e 4 lunar probe landed on the floor of the Von Karman crater, on the moon's south pole."

"CNN reports that several hours after touchdown, the Chang'e 4 deployed the Yutu-2 to roam and explore the surface."

"According to a paper published in Science Advances, the rover used its Lunar Penetrating Radar to send radio signals to the lunar subsurface, up to a depth of 40 meters."

"Paper author Li Chunlai says this is three times the depth that the Chang'e 3, China's previous mission, was able to measure."

"After combining the radar image with tomographic data and quantitative analysis, researchers found that the subsurface was made primarily of highly porous, granular material, embedded with boulders of different sizes."

"According to CNN, this is likely due to the moon being frequently hit by meteors and other space debris during the early days of the solar system."

"When an object strikes the moon, the impact ejects a wave of material. The cratered surface becomes the top layer over time, with layers of boulder and fine debris buried beneath."

SOURCES: Science Advances, CNN, Space.com
https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/6/9/eaay6898
https://edition.cnn.com/2020/02/26/world/change4-lunar-rover-moon-surface-scn/index.html
https://www.space.com/china-change-4-moon-far-side-subsurface.html