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Chandrayaan-2 Detects Water Molecules, Hydroxyl on Lunar Surface

Water molecules, Hydroxyl in moon discovered…learn more…

Friday, 13th August 2021

A recent report published in the last issue of Current Science, a fortnightly journal of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) stated that Chandrayaan-2 has been able to deliver yet again as it detected water molecules on the surface of the moon.

An indigenous instrument onboard the lunar spacecraft has been able to identify the presence of hydroxyl and water molecules on the lunar surface successfully. Imaging infrared spectrometer (IIRS) was used by the spacecraft to help it distinguish between the hydroxyl and water molecules.


IIRS is an instrument that gathers information from the moon’s electromagnetic spectrum that helps researchers back on Earth comprehend the mineral composition of the satellite.


In this instance, scientists analyzed data from three strips of the Chandrayaan-2 IIRS sensor for hydration and inferred “unambiguous detection of OH (hydroxyl) and H2O (water) signatures.”


According to researchers, “The initial data analysis from IIRS clearly demonstrates the presence of widespread lunar hydration and unambiguous detection of OH and H2O signatures on the Moon between 29 degrees north and 62 degrees north latitude.”


The data also led scientists to understand that the brighter sunlit highland regions at higher latitudes of the Moon have higher hydroxyl or probable water molecules.


Scientists at the Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (IIRS) in Dehradun are of the opinion that the cause behind the formation of hydroxyl and water on the Moon is a phenomenon that involves the interaction of solar winds with the lunar surface, known as space weathering. A culmination of impact events along with this brings about chemical changes leading to the formation of reactive hydroxyl molecules.


Researchers have also said in the report, “The proper interpretation of hydration feature through spectral analysis is significant as it provides important inputs regarding the geology and geophysics of the mantle in terms of their mineralogy, chemical composition, rheology, and solar wind interaction.”


The “new discovery” as per the paper, is “significant for future planetary exploration for resource utilization”. 


The News Talkie Bureau



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