ISRO Shares First Findings From Chandrayaan-2 Orbiter's Payload CLASS

Science

ISRO, on Thursday, stated that CLASS has detected charged particles and its intensity variations during its first few days observing the lunar surface.

Written By Suchitra Karthikeyan | Mumbai | Updated On:
Chandrayaan 2

While the efforts to contact 'Vikram Lander'continue, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Thursday, has shared the first findings of Chandrayaan-2 orbiter's payload - CLASS. ISRO stated that CLASS has detected charged particles and its intensity variations during its first few days observing the lunar surface. ISRO's lunar orbiter Chandrayaan-2 has been performing scheduled science experiments to complete satisfaction. Currently, ISRO is analysing the cause of communication loss with Vikram Lander.

ISRO shares Chandrayaan-2 Orbiter's first observations

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What did the orbiter study?

Explaining the findings of the orbiter, ISRO said that Chandrayaan-2 orbiter which is currently revolving around the moon has travelled through the Moon's 'geotail' in the past month. ISRO explains that a 'geotail' is the region around the Earth's magnetosphere facing the Sun, but stretched on the opposite side, extending beyond the orbit of Moon. As the moon passes through the region once every 29 days, the orbiter too has passed this region. The orbiter has been studying properties of geotail at a few hundred thousand kilometers from Earth, according to ISRO.

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What did CLASS observe?

The orbiter's payload - Chandrayaan 2 Large Area Soft X-ray Spectrometer (CLASS) is designed to detect direct signatures of elements present in the lunar soil. CLASS can detect secondary x-ray emission resulting from a solar flare on the Sun, illuminating the lunar surface. CLASS is equipped to detect the presence of key elements like Na, Ca, Al, Si, Ti, and Fe. Hence at the opportune moment,  CLASS in its first few days of observation detected charged particles and its intensity variations during its first passage through the geotail. ISRO hopes to undertake a multi-point study to unravel the “dance of electrons to the music of magnetic fields” around Moon, in its future missions.

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What is Chandrayaan 2?

Chandrayaan-2's rocket lifted off at the scheduled time of 2:43 PM on July 22. The average distance between the Earth and the Moon is 3, 84, 000 km. Vikram lander was scheduled to land on the Moon on the 48th day of the mission on September 7. This moon-lander and rover mission proves that India is taking lead in space exploration as its mission aimed to investigate the unexplored south pole of the moon. With Chandrayaan-2 India aimed at soft-landing on the Moon. If successful, it would have been the fourth country after the US, Russia, and China to do so. But unfortunately, on September 7, Vikram Lander which had separated from Chandrayaan 2's orbiter on September 2, while descending onto the lunar surface lost contact with ISRO Mission Control Centre. Chandrayaan 2's lunar orbiter is currently revolving around the moon taking high-resolution pictures.

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