China’s Chang’e-4 Probe Wakes Up after First Lunar Night

CLEP — China Lunar Exploration Program logo.

Feb. 3, 2019

The rover and the lander of the Chang’e-4 probe have been awakened by sunlight after a long «sleep» during the first extremely cold night on the moon, the China National Space Administration (CNSA) announced on Thursday.

The lander woke up at 8:39 p.m. Wednesday, and the rover, Yutu-2 (Jade Rabbit-2), awoke at about 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, surviving their first lunar night after making the first-ever soft landing on the far side of the moon, said CNSA.

Chang’e-4 Lunar Lander. Image Credits: CNSA/CLEP

China’s Chang’e-4 probe, launched on Dec. 8 in 2018, landed on the Von Karman Crater in the South Pole-Aitken Basin on the far side of the moon on Jan. 3.

A lunar day equals 14 days on Earth, and a lunar night is the same length. The Chang’e-4 probe switched to a dormant mode during the lunar night due to the lack of solar power.

Yutu-2 Lunar Rover. Image Credits: CNSA/CLEP

Both the lander and the rover ended the dormant mode automatically according to the elevation angle of the sunlight. And the key instruments on the probe have started to work.

Image above: Chang’e 4 lander-rover relayed back by Queqiao lunar satellite (Magpie Bridge).Image Credits: CASC/CNSA.

Currently, the rover is located about 18 meters northwest of the lander. Communication and data transmission between ground control and the probe via the relay satellite Queqiao (Magpie Bridge) are stable, said CNSA.

Related article:

China’s Yutu-2 rover Enters Standby Mode for ‘Noon Nap’ as Chang’e 4 Tests Continue
https://orbiterchspacenews.blogspot.com/2019/01/chinas-yutu-2-rover-enters-standby-mode.html

For more information about China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), visit: http://english.spacechina.com/n16421/index.html

For more information about China National Space Administration (CNSA), visit: http://www.cnsa.gov.cn/

Images (mentioned), Text, Credits: CASC/CNSA/China Space News.

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Jupiter Storm Tracker

NASA — JUNO Mission logo.

Feb. 3, 2019

A giant, spiraling storm in Jupiter’s southern hemisphere is captured in this animation from NASA’s Juno spacecraft. The storm is approximately 5,000 miles (8,000 kilometers) across.

The counterclockwise motion of the storm, called Oval BA, is clearly on display. A similar rotation can be seen in the famous Great Red Spot at the top of the animation.

Juno took the nine images used to produce this movie sequence on Dec. 21, between 9:24 a.m. PST (12:24 p.m. EST) and 10:07 a.m. PST (1:07 p.m. EST). At the time the images were taken, the spacecraft was between approximately 15,400 miles (24,800 kilometers) and 60,700 miles (97,700 kilometers) from the planet’s cloud tops above southern latitudes spanning about 36 to 74 degrees.

Juno spacecraft orbiting Jupiter. Image Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Citizen scientists Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Doran created this animation using data from the spacecraft’s JunoCam imager.

JunoCam’s raw images are available for the public to peruse and to process into image products at: http://missionjuno.swri.edu/junocam.  

More information about Juno is at: http://www.nasa.gov/juno and http://missionjuno.swri.edu.

Image, Animation, Text, Credits: NASA/Tony Greicius/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstädt/Seán Doran.

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