Identification of the distribution of Organ-40 in the Moon’s atmosphere by Chandrayaan-2
Recently new data from Chandra’s Atmospheric Composition Explorer-2 (CHACE-2) mass spectrometer on Chandrayaan-2 show the distribution of Organ-40 gas in the lunar ‘exosphere’,
Chandra’s Atmospheric Composition Explorer (CHACE-2) is a mass spectrometer sent with the Chandrayaan-2 mission.
- Earlier, NASA’s Apollo-17 detected the presence of Ar-40 in the Moon’s exosphere. However, it was stated at the time that the presence of Ar-40 is limited only near the equatorial region of the Moon.
- The exosphere is the outermost region of the upper atmosphere. The atoms and molecules present in this circle rarely collide with each other. Also, they can leave this circle and reach deep space.
Importance of this observation:
- This sheds light on the spatial variations of Argon-40 during the lunar day. This observation covers the equatorial and mid-latitudinal regions of the Moon.
- This observation also indicates unknown or additional loss processes, Moon quakes or regions with lower activation energies.
About Chandrayaan-2 Mission:
- It is an Indian mission sent to the Moon. Its goal is to study the hitherto unknown south pole of the Moon by landing a rover on the lunar surface. The name of the lander of this mission is “Vikram” and the name of the rover is “Pragyan”.
- It was launched in the year 2019 by Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk-III (GSV Mk-III).
- This was ISRO’s first lunar space exploration mission. This mission detected the presence of water on the Moon.
- It mapped the Moon in infrared, visible and X-ray light from the Moon’s orbit.
- Also, it used reflected radiation to explore the possibility of the presence of different elements, minerals and ice on the Moon.
- It is an inert, colorless and odorless element and a noble gas.
- Argon-40 is the isotope of Argon. It arises from the radioactive disintegration of potassium-40 (K-40) present beneath the surface of the Moon.
Source – The Hindu