Unveiling Lunar Secrets: ISRO’s Triumph at the Moon’s South Pole”

Exploring the Mysteries of the Lunar South Pole: ISRO’s Remarkable Achievement

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has achieved a significant milestone by obtaining the first scientific data from the enigmatic southern polar region of the Moon, marking a major success for its Chandrayaan-3 mission.

  1. Unraveling Lunar Surface

Temperatures

The thermal analysis of the Vikram Lander has provided invaluable insights into how surface temperatures vary on the Moon’s surface, both near the surface and in its depths.

ISRO stated that the Chandrayaan Surface Thermo-physical Experiment (CHASTE) measures the thermal behavior of the lunar surface’s upper regolith, encompassing the regions surrounding the lunar poles, to comprehend the thermal profiles of the Moon.

A Moon of Temperature Extremes

The Moon lacks an atmosphere, leading to substantial temperature variations on its surface. ISRO has presented these variations graphically.

According to ISRO, “The presented graph illustrates the diversity in temperatures between the lunar surface/near-surface at various depths, as observed during the probe’s descent. This is the first such profile for the lunar south pole. Detailed investigations are underway.”

ISRO’s lead scientist, Dr. Darukesh, expressed astonishment at the recorded temperatures, which exceeded expectations. Referring to the graph, he commented, “We anticipated temperatures around 20-30 degrees Celsius on the surface, but it’s actually 70 degrees.”

Chandrayaan-3’s Mission to Enlighten

Science Minister Jitendra Singh expressed hopes that Chandrayaan-3’s mission would provide valuable information about the Moon’s exosphere, surface, and minerals. This mission could potentially be a groundbreaking endeavor for the global scientific community.

He stated, “The low density of regolith (lunar surface material) and high thermal insulation capacity hold the promise of fundamental building blocks for future habitats, while understanding temperature variations is crucial for sustaining life.”

The Vikram Lander carries a significant instrument called CHASTE-10, equipped with high-purity thermal sensors. Its purpose is to conduct excavations in the upper lunar regolith to study the first 10 centimeters’ thermo-physical properties, a pioneering experiment for the Moon’s surface.

Day and Night Temperature Fluctuations on the Moon

Temperature fluctuations on the lunar surface are substantial during both day and night. Around midnight on the Moon, the minimum temperature drops to below 100 degrees Celsius, while during the afternoon, it soars above 100 degrees.

A layer of approximately 5-20 meters of porous lunar regolith is expected to be an excellent insulator. Due to the absence of an atmosphere and the consequent lack of air circulation, there is a significant temperature difference between the lunar surface and the interior of the regolith, making this observation crucial.

On August 23, the Vikram Lander made its historic descent, establishing India as the only nation to land in the lunar south polar region. The touchdown spot was later named the “Shiva Shakti Point.”

ISRO announced on Saturday that Chandrayaan-3 has already accomplished two of its three objectives: soft landing and the rover’s exploration of the lunar surface. The third objective, in-situ scientific experiments, is currently underway

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