2020年12月31日

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Trail of the Returner
Image Credit & Copyright:
Zhuoxiao Wang

Explanation: Familiar stars of a northern winter’s night shine in this night skyview, taken near Zhangye, Gansu, China and the border with Inner Mongolia. During the early hours of December 17 Orion is near center in the single exposure that captures a fireball streaking across the sky, almost as bright as yellowish Mars shining on the right. Splitting Gemini’s twin bright stars Castor and Pollux near the top of the frame, the fireball’s trail and timing are consistent with the second skipping atmospheric entry of the Chang’e 5 mission’s returner capsule. The returner capsule was successfully recovered after landing in Inner Mongolia, planet Earth with about 2 kilograms of lunar material on board. The lunar sample is thought to contain relatively young material collected near the Mons Rumker region of the Moon’s Oceanus Procellarum. Launched on November 23 UT, China’s Chang’e 5 mission is the first lunar sample return mission since the Soviet Union’s Luna 24 mission in 1976.

Tomorrow’s picture: southern skies


返回器的迹线
影像提供与版权:
Zhuoxiao Wang(王卓骁)

说明: 这幅摄于中国甘肃张掖与内蒙古交界附近的夜空影像,记录了北半球冬夜我们很熟悉的恒星。而在12月17日凌晨拍照时,除了猎户座高悬在头顶之外,更有一颗流星掠过长空,其亮度足以和右侧泛黄的火星争辉。迹线分隔影像顶缘的双子座亮星北河二及北河三的这颗火流星,其发光的时间点,和嫦娥五号返回器进行第二次气动减速的时间重合。这艘返回器带着约2公斤的月球物质安全着陆在内蒙古。此项收集于月球风暴洋.吕姆克山区的回送月球物质,咸信含有相对年轻的土壤样本。在11月24日发射升空的嫦娥五号,是在1976年的苏联月球24号任务之后,第一个月球样品返回任务。

明日的图片: southern skies

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