中国“嫦娥四号探测器”有新发现,在月球背面捕获到不寻常物质
China's Chang'e probe discovers what's lurking beneath moon's far side

China's Chang'e probe discovers what's lurking beneath moon's far side

中国“嫦娥四号探测器”有新发现,在月球背面捕获到不寻常物质

“嫦娥四号”着陆器和月球车在月球的远端非常孤独,但那里也有大量的机会。作为唯一一艘在月球表面着陆的航天器,嫦娥四号近一年来一直在揭示月球另一面的秘密。它的漫游者“玉兔2号”发现了一种奇怪的凝胶状物质,并拍下了令人震惊的表面照片,但新的研究表明,这个勇敢、孤独的漫游者也一直在研究下面的东西。

嫦娥四号任务在月球表面停留了一年多,于2019年1月在月球远端着陆,并将“玉兔2号”释放到位于南极艾特肯盆地的冯克伦恩陨石坑平坦荒凉的平原上。“玉兔2号”装备有穿透雷达,能够向月球表面发射无线电波脉冲,然后从土壤和岩石上反弹回来,描绘出一幅月球地下世界的画面。

周三,开放获取的期刊《科学进步》发表了一篇论文,来自中国科学院(以及意大利和中国各地研究机构的研究人员合作,首次提供了月球远侧的地下细节。在为期两天的月球研究中,研究小组使用了穿透雷达,绘制了地表以下40米的深度图,揭示了目前的地质特征。

月球的远端有点像一个沙袋。火星表面坑坑洼洼,因为在大约45亿年的时间里,它被漫游的太空岩石撞击得粉碎。南极-艾特肯盆地就是这样一个陨石坑,这也是嫦娥四号的结果如此令人兴奋的原因——它们可以提供关于宇宙碰撞的信息,并揭示更多关于内部矿物的信息。

“嫦娥四号”的雷达显示,环形山中有三层不同的月球表面。月球表面的风化层是一层纤细、疏松的岩石,延伸到大约12米以下。那么深的地方有一层更大的岩石和大圆石,可能是在一次撞击事件后被踢起并沉降下来的。最下面的一层从大约24米以下开始,似乎含有更细的尘埃和更大的岩石。

研究小组认为,这种层次结构是在银河系形成的年代形成的,当时的宇宙要平静得多。很可能是月球不断受到撞击,迫使物质从其表面喷射出来,然后又回到表面。这样的活动可以产生所见的分层,每一次撞击都会造成不同的岩石和土壤分布。

中国之前的月球探测器“嫦娥三号”在月球的另一侧着陆,也就是面向地球的那一侧。它还拍摄了地下的图像,但未能达到与“嫦娥四号”相同的深度。

“我们发现,[嫦娥4号的信号穿透力比之前的嫦娥3号飞船在其近侧着陆点测得的信号穿透力要大得多。”中国科学院国家天文台副台长、这篇新论文的作者李春来在一份新闻稿中说。嫦娥三号缺乏雷达探测,这表明这两个着陆点的岩石和土壤成分完全不同。

通过对月球神秘的远侧的新观察,科学家们在了解撞击和月球火山活动可能如何塑造我们的天体姐妹方面又向前迈进了一大步。派对还不止于此。

中国正在扩大探月计划,年底将发射另一颗“探月者嫦娥五号”。中国将尝试向月球表面发射另一个着陆器,希望取回构成月球表面的土壤样本,并将它们带回地球。

It's awfully lonely for the Chang'e 4 lander and rover on the far side of the moon, but there's also a ton of opportunity over there. As the only spacecraft to ever touch down on the surface, Chang'e 4 has been revealing the secrets of the moon's other face for almost a year. It's rover, known as Yutu-2, has uncovered a strange gel-like substance and taken stunning pictures of the surface but new research shows the plucky, lonely rover has also been investigating what lies beneath.

The Chang'e 4 mission has spent over a year on the lunar surface, touching down on the far side in January 2019 and releasing Yutu-2 on the flat, desolate plains of Von Krmn crater, a big impact structure that lies in the South Pole-Aitken basin. Equipped with a penetrating radar, Yutu-2 is able to send out pulses of radio waves through the surface of the moon, which are then bounced back off soil and rock to paint a picture of the moon's underworld.

In a paper published in the open-access journal Science Advances on Wednesday, a collaboration of researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and institutes across Italy and China has provided the first subsurface details from the moon's far side. Using the penetrating radar over two lunar days of study, the team was able to map a depth of up to 40 meters below the surface, revealing the geologic features present.

The far side of the moon is a bit of a punching bag. The surface is highly-cratered because over the period of about 4.5 billion years, its been smashed by impacted by roaming space rocks. The South Pole-Aitken basin is one such impact crater and that's what makes the results from Chang'e 4 so exciting -- they can provide information about the cosmic collision and reveal more about the minerals within.

Chang'e 4's radar shows three distinct layers of the lunar surface in the crater. On top is the lunar regolith -- a fine, loose layer of rock that extends approximately 12 meters below. That far down there's a layer of much bigger rocks and boulders, likely kicked up and settled after an impact event. The bottom layer starts at around 24 meters down and seems to contain finer dust and larger rocks.

The team believe this layering was created during the formative years of the galaxy, when space was a lot less serene. It's likely the moon was constantly struck, forcing material to be ejected from its surface and then settling back on the surface. Such activity could create the layering seen, with each impact causing a different distribution of rock and soil.

China's previous lunar explorer, Chang'e 3, landed on the other side of the moon -- the one facing Earth. It also took images of the subsurface but was not able to reach the same depths as Chang'e 4.

"We found that the signal penetration at the [Chang'e 4] site is much greater than that measured by the previous spacecraft, Chang'e-3, at its near-side landing site," said Li Chunlai, deputy director-general of the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and author of the new paper, in a press release. The lack of radar penetration with Chang'e 3 suggests the two landing sites have a totally different composition of rock and soil.

With this new look at the moon's mysterious far side, scientists take another leap forward in understanding how impacts and lunar volcanism may have shaped our celestial sister. And the party doesn't stop there.

China is looking to expand upon its Lunar Exploration Program with the launch of another lunar explorer towards the end of the year, Chang'e 5. The country will attempt to send another lander to the surface of the moon, in the hope of retrieving samples of the fine soil that makes up the surface and bringing them back to Earth.

It's awfully lonely for the Chang'e 4 lander and rover on the far side of the moon, but there's also a ton of opportunity over there. As the only spacecraft to ever touch down on the surface, Chang'e 4 has been revealing the secrets of the moon's other face for almost a year. It's rover, known as Yutu-2, has uncovered a strange gel-like substance and taken stunning pictures of the surface but new research shows the plucky, lonely rover has also been investigating what lies beneath.

“嫦娥四号”着陆器和月球车在月球的远端非常孤独,但那里也有大量的机会。作为唯一一艘在月球表面着陆的航天器,嫦娥四号近一年来一直在揭示月球另一面的秘密。它的漫游者“玉兔2号”发现了一种奇怪的凝胶状物质,并拍下了令人震惊的表面照片,但新的研究表明,这个勇敢、孤独的漫游者也一直在研究下面的东西。

The Chang'e 4 mission has spent over a year on the lunar surface, touching down on the far side in January 2019 and releasing Yutu-2 on the flat, desolate plains of Von Krmn crater, a big impact structure that lies in the South Pole-Aitken basin. Equipped with a penetrating radar, Yutu-2 is able to send out pulses of radio waves through the surface of the moon, which are then bounced back off soil and rock to paint a picture of the moon's underworld.

嫦娥四号任务在月球表面停留了一年多,于2019年1月在月球远端着陆,并将“玉兔2号”释放到位于南极艾特肯盆地的冯克伦恩陨石坑平坦荒凉的平原上。“玉兔2号”装备有穿透雷达,能够向月球表面发射无线电波脉冲,然后从土壤和岩石上反弹回来,描绘出一幅月球地下世界的画面。

In a paper published in the open-access journal Science Advances on Wednesday, a collaboration of researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and institutes across Italy and China has provided the first subsurface details from the moon's far side. Using the penetrating radar over two lunar days of study, the team was able to map a depth of up to 40 meters below the surface, revealing the geologic features present.

周三,开放获取的期刊《科学进步》发表了一篇论文,来自中国科学院(以及意大利和中国各地研究机构的研究人员合作,首次提供了月球远侧的地下细节。在为期两天的月球研究中,研究小组使用了穿透雷达,绘制了地表以下40米的深度图,揭示了目前的地质特征。

The far side of the moon is a bit of a punching bag. The surface is highly-cratered because over the period of about 4.5 billion years, its been smashed by impacted by roaming space rocks. The South Pole-Aitken basin is one such impact crater and that's what makes the results from Chang'e 4 so exciting -- they can provide information about the cosmic collision and reveal more about the minerals within.

月球的远端有点像一个沙袋。火星表面坑坑洼洼,因为在大约45亿年的时间里,它被漫游的太空岩石撞击得粉碎。南极-艾特肯盆地就是这样一个陨石坑,这也是嫦娥四号的结果如此令人兴奋的原因——它们可以提供关于宇宙碰撞的信息,并揭示更多关于内部矿物的信息。

Chang'e 4's radar shows three distinct layers of the lunar surface in the crater. On top is the lunar regolith -- a fine, loose layer of rock that extends approximately 12 meters below. That far down there's a layer of much bigger rocks and boulders, likely kicked up and settled after an impact event. The bottom layer starts at around 24 meters down and seems to contain finer dust and larger rocks.

“嫦娥四号”的雷达显示,环形山中有三层不同的月球表面。月球表面的风化层是一层纤细、疏松的岩石,延伸到大约12米以下。那么深的地方有一层更大的岩石和大圆石,可能是在一次撞击事件后被踢起并沉降下来的。最下面的一层从大约24米以下开始,似乎含有更细的尘埃和更大的岩石。

The team believe this layering was created during the formative years of the galaxy, when space was a lot less serene. It's likely the moon was constantly struck, forcing material to be ejected from its surface and then settling back on the surface. Such activity could create the layering seen, with each impact causing a different distribution of rock and soil.

研究小组认为,这种层次结构是在银河系形成的年代形成的,当时的宇宙要平静得多。很可能是月球不断受到撞击,迫使物质从其表面喷射出来,然后又回到表面。这样的活动可以产生所见的分层,每一次撞击都会造成不同的岩石和土壤分布。

China's previous lunar explorer, Chang'e 3, landed on the other side of the moon -- the one facing Earth. It also took images of the subsurface but was not able to reach the same depths as Chang'e 4.

中国之前的月球探测器“嫦娥三号”在月球的另一侧着陆,也就是面向地球的那一侧。它还拍摄了地下的图像,但未能达到与“嫦娥四号”相同的深度。

"We found that the signal penetration at the [Chang'e 4] site is much greater than that measured by the previous spacecraft, Chang'e-3, at its near-side landing site," said Li Chunlai, deputy director-general of the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and author of the new paper, in a press release. The lack of radar penetration with Chang'e 3 suggests the two landing sites have a totally different composition of rock and soil.

“我们发现,[嫦娥4号的信号穿透力比之前的嫦娥3号飞船在其近侧着陆点测得的信号穿透力要大得多。”中国科学院国家天文台副台长、这篇新论文的作者李春来在一份新闻稿中说。嫦娥三号缺乏雷达探测,这表明这两个着陆点的岩石和土壤成分完全不同。

With this new look at the moon's mysterious far side, scientists take another leap forward in understanding how impacts and lunar volcanism may have shaped our celestial sister. And the party doesn't stop there.

通过对月球神秘的远侧的新观察,科学家们在了解撞击和月球火山活动可能如何塑造我们的天体姐妹方面又向前迈进了一大步。派对还不止于此。

China is looking to expand upon its Lunar Exploration Program with the launch of another lunar explorer towards the end of the year, Chang'e 5. The country will attempt to send another lander to the surface of the moon, in the hope of retrieving samples of the fine soil that makes up the surface and bringing them back to Earth.

中国正在扩大探月计划,年底将发射另一颗“探月者嫦娥五号”。中国将尝试向月球表面发射另一个着陆器,希望取回构成月球表面的土壤样本,并将它们带回地球。