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ISRO: Chandrayaan-2 detects Chromium and Manganese on the Lunar Surface

ISRO: Chandrayaan-2 detects Chromium and Manganese on the Lunar Surface

The Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft has completed more than 9,000 orbits around the moon and has revealed vital information about the lunar surface. According to a statement by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), eight payloads onboard the spacecraft have conducted scientific observations by remote sensing and In-situ techniques.

The two-day science workshop conducted by ISRO, which was live streamed on Facebook and Youtube, marked the completion of two years of the launch of the spacecraft (July 22, 2019). The officials of ISRO said on Monday that, the payloads on the spacecraft have detected the presence of minor elements such as Chromium and Manganese through remote-sensing.

K Sivan, ISRO Chairman, said that Chandrayaan-2 data is “national property” and requested the scientific and academia community to use the same to help further science. During one of the sessions of the two-day workshop, the payload results of Chandrayaan-2 Large Area Soft X-Ray Spectrometer (CLASS) were discussed. 

CLASS measures the Moon’s X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) spectra to examine and record the presence of major elements such as Magnesium, Aluminium, Silicon, Calcium, Iron, Titanium, and Sodium. 

The principal investigator of CLASS payload, Shyama Narendranath, suggested that there was a definitive detection of minor elements Chromium and Manganese for the first time on the lunar surface. He said that it was possible due to the remote sensing technique and the detection came as a surprise as these elements form less than one weight percent on the moon.

The two elements were detected at a few places during intense solar flare events. The presence of these elements on the moon’s surface prior to Chandrayaan-2, was known, due to testing of the soil samples collected during previous moon missions. 

Former ISRO Chairman and Chairman of the Apex Science Board, AS Kiran Kumar remarked that the satellite has provided excellent data over the last two years. The Chandrayaan-2 orbiter payload’s data is available in the public domain through the host website pradan.issdc.gov.in.