No water on moon: Chang'e 3

By Chen Xia
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, August 1, 2016
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Photo provided by National Astronomical Observatories of Chinese Academy of Sciences shows a high-resolution image of lunar surface on the moon. The image is shot by Chinese Chang'e 3, an unmanned lunar exploration probe, and Yutu rover. (Xinhua)

Data sent back to the Earth by Chinese lunar probe Chang'e 3 has proved for the first time that there is no water on the moon, said a Chinese astronomer.

The Chang'e 3 has gathered data on the moisture content above the lunar surface and "got a figure so low that we have never seen before," said Wei Jianyan, a researcher of the National Astronomical Observatory at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The result is in line with the expectations of experts. It's also the first time that mankind has proved there is no water on the moon.

Also, the Chang'e 3 has achieved several other firsts in the scientific field. It drew the first geological section map of the moon and found a lunar basaltic rock, which can help us understand the evolution of the moon.

It also conducted the first survey of the celestial body above the north pole of the moon, which can help astronomers do comparison studies in the future.

Also, it has obtained the first images of the Earth's plasmasphere, which will be a boon to space weather forecasts, terrestrial communication and the communication between the Earth and spacecrafts.

The Chang'e 3 has been working continually on the moon since its soft landing in December 2013. According to the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry of National Defense, this is the longest operation of lunar probes.

The Chang'e 3 is composed of a lander and a lunar rover called "Yutu" (Jade Rabbit). It carries eight scientific instruments, including panoramic cameras, a soil probe, a lunar-based optical telescope and an extreme ultraviolet (EUV) camera to observe the moon, the Galaxy and the Earth.

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