Photo provided by the China National Space Administration (CNSA) on Jan. 4, 2019 shows image of Yutu-2, China's lunar rover, at preset location A on the surface of the far side of the moon.
Xinhua/CNSA via Getty Images
  • China's Chang'e-4 lunar rover has discovered a strange material on the moon's uncharted far side, described as "unusually colored" and "gel-like."
  • According to Space.com, the mission's rover, Yutu-2, found the unidentified substance.
  • Scientists made the discovery after reviewing photos taken on the rover's camera, and noticed a strange material inside of a crater that showed "color and luster" unlike the surrounding terrain.
  • Researchers think the substance could be "melt glass" formed from meteorites crashing into the lunar surface.
  • For more stories go to the Business Insider South Africa homepage.

China's Chang'e-4 lunar rover has discovered an unidentified "gel-like" substance on the moon's far side.

The lunar probe was launched in early December 2018 and has taken part in a historic exploration of the far side of the moon, sometimes called the "dark side."

Chang'e-4 touched down on January 3, becoming the first spacecraft to soft-land on the moon's uncharted area. Only two other countries - the US and Russia - have successfully soft-landed on the moon.

According to Space.com, the mission's rover, Yutu-2, discovered the strange substance during a months-long expedition which began on July 25.

Scientists leading the mission decided to pause the rover to investigate the "unusually colored" and "gel-like" material is, according to Space.com.

They noticed the gel while reviewing photos from the rover's camera, which identified a small crater which appeared to contain "material with a color and luster" unlike the moon's surrounding terrain.

Researchers have suggested that the substance could be "melt glass," according to Space.com, which is formed from meteorites crashing into the lunar surface.

China's National Space Administration (CNSA) has not yet released photos of the mysterious gel.

The lunar probe has since resumed exploration, according to the agency, and "woke up" from being in a dormant state on August 25 due to extremely cold night weather.

According to Space.com, Yutu-2 is due to continue westward and power down once more on September 5.

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