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Here’s a 360 Degree Lunar Panorama Taken by China’s Moon Lander

Here’s a 360 Degree Lunar Panorama Taken by China’s Moon Lander

Moon Panorama

Chinese moon lander Chang’e-4 and its companion rover Yutu 2 just took photos of each other while basking in sunlight on the far side of the Moon, which faces away from the Earth.

After touching down just over a week ago, the lander has now sent back several new pictures, including a stunning 360 degree panorama of its surroundings. The Yutu 2 rover, and the tracks it left as it made its way across the lunar surface, can be seen in the bottom left.

The lander also sent back a video stitched together from more than 4,700 static images taken by the on-board camera. The video shows Chang’e-4 adjusting its trajectory right before landing on the lunar surface below.

All that information had to go through a specially deployed relay satellite, since the Moon itself blocks direct signals to Earth from its far side.

Exploring the Far Side

The Chang’e-4 launched on December 7 to explore the far side of the Moon and investigate how its mineral composition and structure compare to the much better-known near side. It’s also carrying a tiny biosphere containing a number of Earth-based species including potato plants and fruit flies.

China’s Lunar and Deep Space Exploration organization claims the mission “was a complete success” according to an update on its website published today, as interpreted by Google Translate.

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