Stunning Image Of Moon's Rear Side Captured By Chinese Satellite

The last time a human set foot on the moon was in 1972. Image credit- Pexels licensed under CC0

The photo was taken with a camera linked to an amateur radio transceiver on board the Chinese DSLWP-B/Longjiang-2 satellite. But none of this would be possible without Longjiang-2 and Queqiao, which are serving as critical relay satellites, allowing mission controllers to stay in contact with Chang'e-4 as it works on the Moon's hidden side.

Last month, China's Chang'e-4 lander created history by successfully touching down on the far side of the Moon.

Chang'e 4, part of China's ambitious plan to become a major space power by 2030, is composed of two parts: a lander, which powered the journey to the moon, and a rover, which detached from the lander after impact to explore the moon's surface.

Longjiang-2 beams photos of the moon back to Earth via the Dwingeloo Radio Observatory in the Netherlands, where astronomers have volunteered to help China's space agency receive the images using the observatory's super-sensitive radio antenna. Queqiiao satellite played a significant role in the entire landing mission.

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We already received images taken by the satellite of the Moon and Earth back in October.

As space agencies like NASA gear up and renewed interest in Moon exploration grows, we might learn a few more secrets about our nearest neighbor, and will hopefully get some more lovely images like this one.

"Longjiang-2, also known as DSLWP-B, is one of two microsatellites China launched to the moon previous year to prepare for the arrival of its Chang'e 4 lander-rover combo mission, which touched down on the far side of the moon on January 3". The Dwingeloo telescope downloaded the photo from the satellite this morning.

Full colour adjusted images captured throughout the process are available on Cess Bassa's blog post.

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