In November 2021, China’s Yutu-2 lunar rover discovered something unusual on the moon’s far side. The image was fuzzy, but it was clear: The item resembled a cube sitting on the surface of the moon. Its shape appeared to be too perfect to be a moon rock.
It was termed the “mystery hut” by China’s space authorities. Others referred to it as the “moon cube.” Yutu-2 was sent in for a closer look, and at the rover’s slow speed, it took several weeks to get real close.
On Friday, a Chinese channel affiliated with the China National Space Administration published an update. On the rim of a lunar crater, there is no such thing as a monolith or a concealed base. It turns out to be nothing more than a rock when inspected closely. Angle, light, and shadow created the perfect geometric design.
Even though the mystery hut was not a hut at all, one of the rover’s Earth-based remote drivers noticed that the rock looked like a rabbit, and one of the stones in front of it looked like a carrot. So, of course, given that the rover’s name means “Jade Rabbit,” this is suitable.
Since its debut three years ago on the moon’s far side, at Von Kármán crater, as part of the Chang’e-4 mission, the Yutu lunar rover has moved slightly over 1,000 meters. It’s the rover’s first mission to land on the other side of the planet.
Whether observed by astronomers peering through telescopes on Earth or robotic explorers taking photos with cameras, visual illusions have long been a part of space exploration.
In 2004, a NASA rover on Mars named Opportunity observed something like bunny ears, similar to the rabbit-like rock discovered by China’s rover. Engineers on Earth determined that the debris that came off the rover was insulation or other soft material.