While both the Lander and Rover are roughly midway through lunar day 12 below on the surface, the QueQiao communications satellite currently in an L2 orbit overhead at the farside of the moon has started one of its onboard scientific instruments, called the Netherlands-China Low Frequency Explorer (NCLE).
NCLE, essentially, is a radio telescope, and besides doing tasks of, say, mapping the radio sky, detection of solar storms etc.,, the instrument will also be able to look back at early signals from the Big Bang.
As Marc Klein Wolt, managing director of the Radboud Radio Lab and leader of the Dutch team, says "The moon night is ours, now".
Image below shows one of three antennas that unfolded to collect such week radio signals. On first attempt, the unfolding process progressed smoothly, but difficulties later set in. This doesn't mean the end of use for the instrument as some data was collected, so the science team decided to retract the antennas for another unfolding attempt at a later point in time.
(Image credit: Marc Klein Wolt / Radboud University)
Edited by John_Moore, 28 November 2019 - 03:11 PM.