Emily LakdawallaDec 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:

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


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.

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