Water on moon? Chandrayaan-2 detects presence of water molecules on lunar surface

The initial data analysis from the imaging infrared spectometre (IIRS) onboard Chandrayaan-2 clearly demonstrates the presence of widespread lunar hydration and the unambiguous detection of OH and H2O signatures on the Moon.

Created On: Aug 13, 2021 15:22 IST
Presence of water molecules on moon
Presence of water molecules on moon

Chandrayaan-2, the second lunar mission of the Indian Space Research Organisation, has detected the presence of water molecules on the moon. Data obtained from the mission revealed the latest details.

In a paper co-authored by A S Kirankumar, former Chairman of ISRO, stated that imaging infrared spectometre (IIRS) is one of the payloads onboard Chandrayaan -2, which has been placed in a 100 km polar orbit to acquire the global scientific data.

The latest development that came to light regarding Chandrayaan-2 has also been assumed as significant considering that the mission did not yield the desired results.

Presence of water molecules on the moon: What do we know?

The paper which was recently published in the Current Science journal stated that the initial data analysis from the imaging infrared spectometre (IIRS) clearly demonstrates the presence of widespread lunar hydration and the unambiguous detection of OH and H2O signatures on the Moon between 29oN and 62oN lat., after incorporating the physics-based thermal correction to reflectance data.

Plagioclase-rich rocks have also been found to have higher OH (hydroxyl) or possibly H2O (water) molecules when compared to the mare regions, which were found to have more dominance of OH at the higher surface temperature.

Chandrayaan-2: India’s second lunar mission

•  Chandrayaan-2 which was planned to land on the South Pole of the moon was launched on July 22, 2019.

•  It was the second lunar exploration mission by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), after Chandrayaan-1.

•  Chandrayaan-2 consists of a lunar orbiter. It also included a Vikram lander and the Pragyan lunar rover, all of which were developed in India.

•  However, lander Vikram hard landed on September 7 and crashed India’s dream of becoming the first nation to successfully land on the lunar surface in its maiden attempt.

•  The orbiter of the Chandrayaan-2 mission has been working fine. It has also been sending data to Chandrayaan-1, the first lunar mission, showing evidence that there was water on the moon.

About Chandrayaan-1:

Chandrayaan-1 was the first Indian lunar probe under the Chandrayaan program. It was launched by ISRO in October 2008 and it operated until August 2009.

Chandrayaan-1 was a major boost to India’s space program, as the country researched and developed its own technology in order to explore the moon. On November 8, 2008, the vehicle was inserted into the lunar orbit.

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