The "dark" next of the moon isn"t yes, really darker 보다 the "light" next of the moon. However that far side does appear to get cooler at night.

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Earth"s moon is tidally locked come the planet, meaning that the same side of the moon faces us at all times. However the moon is still spinning in order come constantly suggest one challenge at us, for this reason it experiences days and nights from the varying sunlight. These periods are about two Earth-weeks long. Data indigenous the Apollo goals had currently revealed the the moon"s sunlit surface can climb to 260 levels Fahrenheit (127 levels Celsius) during the day, and drop to minus 280 F (minus 173 C) in ~ night. But all of that data originates from the side of the moon that deals with Earth. The brand-new Chinese mission that arrived at the "dark" (read: far) side of the moon on Jan. 3 has actually recorded even colder temperatures throughout the long lunar night.

The Chinese lander Chang"e 4 and its rover, Yutu 2 (Jade hare 2), woke from dormant, power-saving settings at the finish of January and also beamed earlier data arguing that temperature there had actually plummeted to minus 310 F (minus 190 C), according to an Agence France-Presse report.


The difference in between Chang"e 4"s reading and also the Apollo missions" is "probably because of the distinction in lunar floor composition between the two sides the the moon. We still need much more careful analysis," Zhang He, executive, management director that the Chang"e 4 probe project, said Xinhua.

In other words, something around the lunar dirt where Chang"e 4 sits is probably causing the floor to retain less warmth overnight 보다 the Apollo landing sites did. But researchers still aren"t certain what the something is.


Chang"e 4 and also Yutu 2 are the an initial probes to check out the much side of our nearest neighbor, for this reason the data lock return will certainly be one of a kind. It might be a long time prior to researchers have a for sure answer come the temperature-difference question.

Originally released on Live Science.

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Rafi join Live science in 2017. He has actually a bachelor"s degree in journalism native Northwestern University’s Medill institution of journalism. Girlfriend can find his past science report at Inverse, service Insider and Popular Science, and also his past photojournalism top top the Flash90 cable service and in the pages of The Courier post of southern new Jersey.