Sunday, March 14, 2010

Ice deposits on moon – Chandrayan Strikes again.

The Miracles by Chandrayan – 1 , the first moon mission of India launched on 2008 October 22 continues. Months ago Chandrayan – 1 identified the presence of water in moon. American space agency NASA’s ( National Aeronautics and Space Administration) Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3), one of the instruments on board of Chandrayaan-1, had recognised that water was getting formed even in the sun-lit regions of moon. That was a wonderful observation after reporting some failure of Chandrayaan-1.

Now another instrument on board of Chandrayaan-1, had discovered huge deposits of ice in the north pole of moon. More than 40 craters with ice deposits had discovered in the moon’s North Pole by Miniature Synthetic Aperture Radar (Mini-SAR) of NASA. Both the poles of moon are permanently shadowed regions and are cold. So scientists guessed that these areas will have high ice deposits. Mini-SAR’s mission was to explore this guess. When the pictures caught by Mini-SAR analysed the miracle that world expected came out. The craters have a diameter varying from 2 kilo meter to 15 kilo meters. It is estimated that about 60 crore metric tone of ice deposits will be there in moon.

Mr. M. Annadurai’s ( Project Director, Chandrayaan-1 and 2 ) response on the discovery of this ice craters was as follows.

“A positive direction for future explorations with respect to lunar resources and pursuit of pure science. We are seeing a large number of craters . That gives an indication of a good quantum of polar ice on the moon. Earlier, we had seen the physical phenomenon of water getting formed in one region. We are now seeing water getting retained in another region as ice deposits. This is called volatile transportation. These discoveries indicate that we had a good combination of instruments on board Chandrayaan-1. They could not have been made by other optical instruments which need sunlight to see what is there.”

The findings of Mini-SAR have published in the journal, Geophysical Research Letters. The team behind the findings consist scientists from 13 agencies over U.S. and India. The Indian Scientists include Chandrayan – 1 principal scientist Prof. J.N. Goswami , Director of Ahmedabad Physical Research Laboratory and Mr. M. Chakrabarti of the Space Applications Centre, Ahmedabad.

The immediate response by Prof. J.N Goswami was “an interesting and new result.”.

“ It is quite interesting from our perspective. We thought it would be there, and it is there. I am confident that whatever signals we are getting are correct.

We are now finding it in solid form. So this is very important. Water is an important resource if people want to go to the moon ” Prof. Dr. Goswami added.

Prof. Paul Spoodils, the principal investigator of the Mini-SAR experiment at the Lunar and Planetary Institute, U.S.A says “the pictures and data receiving from Mini-SAR, M3 and LCROSS are a clear indication of water creation, migration, deposition and retention are occurring on the moon ”

“The new findings add to the growing scientific understanding of multiple forms of water on the moon,” the release in Geophysical Research Letters said.

The 11 scientific instruments that flew on board of India’s Chandrayaan-1 include the Mini-SAR , Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) and Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) all by NASA.

The discovery is a golden quill on the cap of Indian Space Research Organisation (I S R O )also as it is the brain behind Chandrayan – 1. As an Indian all of us are proud on this discovery. We can expect more and more miracles by our proud Chandrayan series in future.


Areekkodan | അരീക്കോടന്‍ said...

After a long interval, I am back with India's pride Chandrayan news.

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