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Emily LakdawallaDecember 15, 2013

Color photo of Yutu rover and Chang'e lander, and more on the Chang'e 3 landing site

Fresh off of Chinese state television is this screen capture showing a Chang'e 3 lander image of the Yutu rover and its tracks on the Moon:

Jade Rabbit on the Moon

CNSA / CCTV

Jade Rabbit on the Moon
Aired live on state television, the Chang'e 3 lander took a photo of the recently-deployed Yutu rover, bearing the bright red Chinese national flag, on December 15, 2013.

And here is the reverse shot, the photo taken by the Yutu rover of the Chang'e 3 lander:

Chang'e 3 lander on the Moon

CNSA / CCTV

Chang'e 3 lander on the Moon
This screen capture from Chinese state television on December 15, 2013 shows the Chang'e 3 lander sitting on the lunar surface, photographed by the Yutu rover.

Awesome.

Also not to be missed is this high-definition version of the descent imager frames showing the full landing sequence.

Meanwhile, in the hours since Chang'e 3's successful landing, many people have worked to figure out, from the descent imagery that was shared live with the world, precisely where the spacecraft landed. It's a Sunday morning so rather than summarize all of this great work I'll simply link to some of the best.

Geologically speaking, the lander came down in Mare Imbrium, at an interesting spot: very close to the boundary between high-titanium and low-titanium basaltic lava flows. The rover should be able to explore the nature of this boundary. According to an email from Moon mineralogist Carle Pieters, they are sitting on the younger, high-titanium basalt.

Read more: pretty pictures, pics of spacecraft in space, spacecraft, the Moon, Chang'E program

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Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society
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