The mystery moon hut discovered last year by Chinese moon rover Yutu-2 now has an explanation-and no, it is not what you expect it is.
According to CNET, that hut is, well... just a rock. A rock that coincidentally looked like a house from afar. It is an answer that a lot of experts expected, but it did provide an ending to a story that made headlines last year.
Once Yutu-2 got closer to take a clearer picture, the real nature of the "hut" was revealed. It did, however, get a more "dignified" name, so to speak: jade rabbit. In this series of tweets by journalist Andrew Jones, you'll get to see closeup photos of the rock:
Oh, this is amazing. Close to tears. Ourspace has published an update on the "mystery hut" and it's so underwhelming it's brilliant. It's just a small rock on a crater rim that they're now calling "jade rabbit" for its appearance. Source: https://t.co/frrMKH7RWM https://t.co/GFCIRzqmDu pic.twitter.com/jpDLDS8TZu— Andrew Jones (@AJ_FI) January 7, 2022
The jade rabbit name was given to the rock because up close, it doesn't look like a house at all: but rather, a bunny crouching down while looking at carrots. Furthermore, the name is also similar to the English translation of the rover's name "Yutu", which also means jade rabbit.
Scientists on the Chang'e mission (which Yutu-2 is a part of) first spotted the rock in the rover's field of view back in December, according to LiveScience. Back then, it looked very much like a house erected on the lunar surface, which then sparked a wild barrage of conspiracy theories.
Since the rock itself had a weirdly flat top, even folks from the Chinese National Space Administration joked that it could be a house where aliens lived. But once the closeup images of the rock were sent back, it turned out to be far smaller than initially thought.
The only reason why it looked like a "hut" from afar is because of a lack of perspective in the original image.
Ah. We have an update from Yutu-2 on the lunar far side, including an image of a cubic shape on the northern horizon ~80m away from the rover in Von Kármán crater. Referred to as "神秘小屋" ("mystery house"), the next 2-3 lunar days will be spent getting closer to check it out. pic.twitter.com/LWPZoWN05I— Andrew Jones (@AJ_FI) December 3, 2021
Without the right perspective, it appeared much larger further out-perhaps even as big as the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, which is 164 feet tall.
For now, the Yutu-2 rover will keep exploring the 115-mile-wide Von Kármán Crater, a region it has explored since 2019.
Mystery Moon Hut: Not The Only Interesting Thing Yutu-2 has Found
Yutu-2 is now the world's longest-lived lunar rover ever, having been on the surface since 2019. And in the time it's been exploring the moon, it has found far more interesting things than an alleged alien house.
Early on in its mission, the rover discovered what looks to be a gel-like substance in a crater. Upon closer inspection, scientists noticed that the substance had a different color and luster compared to its surroundings.
Eventually, they theorized that it could be a piece of molten glass, which has solidified after it was created by a meteorite impact.
Furthermore, the rover is also responsible for delivering what could be the world's most detailed images of the far side of the moon yet. This area of the moon always faces away from Earth, which has made it rather difficult to map.
This article is owned by Tech Times
Written by RJ Pierce