Chandrayaan 2 orbiter discovers water molecules on Moon

Chandrayaan-2 orbiter of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has detected water molecules on Moon’s surface.

Key Points

  • According to the researchers, there was widespread lunar hydration and unambiguous detection of OH and H2O signatures in between 29-degree north and 62-degree north latitudes on the moon
  • These findings were published in Current Science Journal, authored by former Isro chairman AS Kiran Kumar.

Water Molecule on Moon

  • As per researchers, formation of hydroxyl or water molecules happens due to a process called space weathering. This process is completed when the solar winds blow over the lunar surface.
  • Researchers also observed that, brighter sunlit highland regions at higher latitudes of the Moon comprises of higher hydroxyl or possibly water molecules.

Significance of the study

This study becomes significance for future planetary exploration for resource utilisation because several international missions are lined up towards moon for the upcoming years.

Chandrayaan-2 mission

ISRO launched its Chandrayaan-2 mission in 2019. It suffered a tragic crash when the lander got damaged. However, its orbiter has helped in new discoveries. This mission aims to study not just one area of the Moon but the areas combining the exosphere as well including the surface and sub-surface of the moon. IIRS, on-board Chandrayaan-2 mission, has completely characterise lunar hydration because of presence of OH and H2O.

Chandrayaan-1 mission

This mission had already confirmed the presence of water on the lunar surface. However, because of limited spectral coverage, exact nature of hydration could not be ascertained.

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