It’s easy to forget the black and white images from the Apollo era missions were old data, by old cameras. The reality is lunar surface is even more stunning when viewed in full color. The Chinese launched a lander to the moon back in 2013 and we’ve only seen a handful of images from the lunar surface. Recently however the Chinese Academy of Sciences released 35GB worth of data from the two onboard cameras on its lander.
The Chang’e 3 lander captured the four images for this mosaic of the Yutu rover driving southward on December 23, 2013. Yutu’s right solar panel is angled downward to catch the glancing sunlight at a better angle.
Yutu’s wheels carved curved tracks in the lunar soil. The images for this mosaic were taken on January 12, 2014.
Part of a full 360-degree panorama taken by the Chang’e 3 lander on December 17, 2013, three days after landing. To the left is a crater nearly 20 meters in diameter whose rim features large blocks of bright rock.
The Yutu rover took the images for this panorama on January 13, 2014, during the rover’s second lunar day on the surface, while close to “Pyramid Rock.” Two Earth days later, the rover’s motor unit failed, after it had driven substantially closer to the lander.
This is a mosaic of six images captured by the Yutu rover on January 13, 2014, after it had driven southwest of the lander to visit a large block of impact ejecta that the team named Long Yan (Pyramid Rock).