China’s Yutu 2 rover has reached the so-called “mystery hut” on the far side of the moon that attracted widespread attention last month — but don’t get too excited.
After driving for nearly two lunar days (each lasting around two weeks on Earth and separated by a two-week night), the solar-powered Yutu 2 got close enough to get clear images of the object.
The new images, published by Ourspace, a Chinese language science outreach channel affiliated with the China National Space Administration (CNSA,) reveal a small rock near the rim of a crater, with Yutu 2’s drive team describing it as a “jade rabbit” (玉兔/yutu) for its resemblance to a rabbit about to eat. Jade Rabbit is a figure from Chinese mythology that lives on the moon with Chang-e, the goddess of the moon. China’s moon exploration missions are named for Chang’e and its two lunar rovers for Jade Rabbit.