A photograph of a cube-like object taken by a Chinese probe on the hidden side of the Moon has produced speculations about what it might be and has inspired a series of memes by Chinese internet users.
The Yutu-2 has captured an image of what appears to be a large cubic object on the horizon about 80 meters from its location, the Chinese government science website Our Space said, citing the probe’s last record on Dec. 3.
Under the hashtag “Yutu’s Latest Discovery,” a series of internet memes showed the vehicle rolling across the lunar surface toward some obelisks, a tall monolith and even a giant hammer and sickle — the symbol of the Communist Party.
“It’s space junk left by the United States,” wrote a Chinese internet user on a social network.
“Come closer and you’ll see it’s a Covid-19 nucleic acid test site,” said another.
“It’s an alien house!” said a third.
Others have suggested a more mundane possibility—it’s just a rock.
After Chinese social networks, the image also circulated on Twitter accounts in English. And many didn’t miss the chance to make memes, like the ones below:
The Yutu (or Jade Rabbit in Chinese), powered by solar energy, will cover the distance of 80 meters in two or three lunar days, according to Our Space, or two to three terrestrial months.
The robotic probe has been operating in Von Karman Crater at South Pole-Base Aitken since its launch in January 2019.
The mission was a historic first, as no other country had landed on the dark side of the Moon until then.
Because the Moon rotates at the same speed as it orbits our planet, most of its “dark side” is never visible to Earth.