ISRO releases graph of temperature variation on lunar surface measured by Chandrayaan-3's payload
Chandra’s Surface Thermophysical Experiment (ChaSTE ), one of the payloads onboard the Vikram lander, shared the first observations of the temperature on the lunar surface.
BENGALURU: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has released the first temperature profile of the lunar south pole after Chandrayaan-3 successfully landed on the Moon on August 23. The data comes just four days after the Vikram lander and Pragyaan rover touched down at the ‘Shiv Shakti’ point, named by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday.
Chandra’s Surface Thermophysical Experiment (ChaSTE ), one of the payloads onboard the Vikram lander, shared the first observations of the temperature on the lunar surface. The graph shared by ISRO showed the temperature variations on the Moon at various depths.
In a statement, ISRO said, “ChaSTE measures the temperature profile of the lunar topsoil around the pole, to understand the thermal behaviour of the Moon’s surface. It has a temperature probe equipped with a controlled penetration mechanism capable of reaching a depth of 10 cm beneath the surface. The probe is fitted with 10 individual temperature sensors.”
When TNIE spoke to one of the ISRO officials, he said this is new for scientists all around the world. “Space scientists so far have expected the temperature of the Moon to be around 20-30 degrees Celsius, but the data recorded by ChaSTE shows the difference by a huge margin on the south pole as it reaches up to 60 degrees Celsius,” he added.
READ ALL CHANDRAYAAN-3 STORIES HERE
The payload has a temperature probe equipped with a controlled penetration mechanism capable of reaching a depth of 10 cm beneath the surface.
Chandrayaan-3 Mission:— ISRO (@isro) August 27, 2023
Here are the first observations from the ChaSTE payload onboard Vikram Lander.
ChaSTE (Chandra's Surface Thermophysical Experiment) measures the temperature profile of the lunar topsoil around the pole, to understand the thermal behaviour of the moon's… pic.twitter.com/VZ1cjWHTnd
“In terms of Earth when we record temperatures, the variation is only between 4 and 5 degrees Celsius, but on the lunar surface it is 10 times more as observed by the data,” he said. Releasing a graph on platform X, ISRO stated, “The presented graph illustrates the temperature variations of the lunar surface/near-surface at various depths, as recorded during the probe’s penetration. This is the first such profile for the lunar south pole.”
However these are just the initial reports and detailed observations are underway. According to officials, this is “food for thought for the scientific community.” The graph shows that the temperature at 8 cm (80 mm) depth into the Moon’s surface drops to -10 degrees Celsius and at 6 cm (60 mm) depth, the temperature is around 5-10 degrees Celsius. A huge variation is seen at the lunar surface - topsoil (at the position of the ChaSTE) at 50 degrees Celsius.
ISRO Chairman S Somanath said that all systems and payloads are working well and the rover and lander are in good condition. With all the instruments being switched on, all the experiments should be performed successfully in the coming days, he added.
Earlier, the space agency said on X that of the three mission objectives of Chandrayaan-3, two have been successfully accomplished -- a demonstration of a safe soft landing on the lunar surface and a demonstration of a rover roving on the moon. The third objective -- conducting in-situ scientific experiments -- is underway.