Freaky View from Lunar Orbit Shows Chinese Lander on the Moon’s Far Side
When the Chang’e 4 spacecraft made it to the Moon’s far side in early January, it landed on the floor of the Von Kármán crater, a feature named in honor of Theodore von Kármán—a pioneering scientist during the early days of the U.S. space program. This large impact crater formed about 3.9 billion years ago, and it measures around 186 kilometers (116 miles) in diameter.
On January 30, 2019, NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter approached the landing site from the east, snapping the pic at a distance of 330 kilometers (205 miles) from the Chang’e 4 lander. The Chinese probe appears as a tiny white dot, and its mobile companion, the Yutu 2 rover, is so small it cannot be seen.
The large, fresh-looking crater beyond the landing site measures nearly 4 kilometers across, or 12,800 feet, and it’s about 600 meters (1,970 feet) deep, according to NASA. Looking across the expanse, you can see the western wall of the Von Kármán crater—a mountain range that extends more than 3 kilometers (9,850 feet) above the floor of the crater.