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Monday, December 4, 2023

Chandrayaan 3 Uncovers Moon’s Chilling secrets: south pole soil


India’s ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) has successfully unveiled the temperature secrets of the moon’s elusive south pole. Chandrayaan 3, following its triumphant landing on August 23, has begun unraveling the mysteries hidden beneath the moon’s surface, offering us an unprecedented peek into the lunar world.

A spacecraft has delicately nestled on the moon’s southernmost point. This uncharted territory, less exposed to the sun’s radiant gaze, holds the potential to become a future human habitat. Just four days after its safe landing, Chandrayaan 3 has already shared remarkable findings with the world.

Imagine being able to sense the moon’s temperature from just beneath the surface! The ingenious ChaSTE (Chandra’s Surface Thermophysical Experiment) has brought this imagination to life. Equipped with an impressive temperature probe capable of burrowing up to 10 centimeters deep, this experiment is a true marvel of scientific ingenuity. With not one, but ten individual temperature sensors, ChaSTE has unveiled a temperature graph that showcases the moon’s thermal behavior like never before.

The graph paints a fascinating picture: lunar surface temperatures ranging from a toasty 50 degrees Celsius to a chilly -10 degrees Celsius. A mere 8 centimeters beneath the surface, temperatures plunge to the freezing end of the spectrum. This snapshot of the moon’s temperature dance provides us with a rare glimpse into the moon’s hidden rhythms.

But ChaSTE isn’t the only star on Chandrayaan 3’s mission. A constellation of seven payloads, spread across the Vikram lander and Pragyan rover, are working tirelessly to unlock lunar enigmas. Vikram, the lander, carries RAMBHA (studying ions and electrons), ILSA (unraveling seismic mysteries), and LRA (exploring moon dynamics). Meanwhile, the curious Pragyan rover embarked on a moonwalk of its own, investigating the lunar landscape at a place now known as Shiv Shakti Point.

It’s not just about data, but about a futuristic vision. ISRO’s Chief, S Somnath, shared the rationale behind selecting the moon’s south pole as the expedition’s basecamp. Shrouded in shadow and mystery, the south pole’s uncharted territories could very well become humanity’s next celestial abode. With the moon’s south pole being less illuminated by the sun, it’s an ideal candidate for potential colonization.

This landmark moment in space exploration marks India’s resurgence after the disappointment of Chandrayaan 2 in 2019. Now, as Chandrayaan 3 embarks on its 14-day mission (equivalent to one lunar day), scientists are ready to decode the hidden messages in the moon’s soil. From the frosty depths to the sunlit surface, every layer of the moon’s southern soil holds secrets that could shape humanity’s future in space.

The success of Chandrayaan 3 brings us closer to understanding our lunar neighbor in ways we’ve never imagined. As we pore over temperature graphs and unravel the intricate tales of lunar soil, the possibilities for human habitation on the moon’s south pole seem to shine a little brighter. It’s a giant leap, not just for ISRO but for all of humanity, towards a new frontier among the stars.


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