Another CH-3 instrument confirm presence of Sulphur in lunar region through another technique

Chennai, Aug 31 (UNI) Continuing its week long in-situ scientific experiments after successfully landing on the Moon’s south polar region, another instrument on board the Rover carried by India’s third Lunar Mission Chandrayaan-3, has confirmed presence of Sulphur in the region through another technique.

ISRO on Thursday said “Chandryaaan-3 Mission : In-situ Scientific Experiments. Another instrument onboard the Rover confirms the presence of Sulphur (S) in the region, through another technique.

The Alpha Particle X-ray Spectroscope (APXS) has detected S, as well as other minor elements, it added.

It said “This finding by Ch-3 compels scientists to develop fresh explanations for the source of Sulphur (S) in the area: intrinsic?, volcanic?, meteoritic?,……?.”

Releasing a video, the Space Agency said it showed an automated hinge mechanism rotating the 18 cm tall APXS, aligning the detector head to be approximately 5 cm in proximity to the lunar surface.

Operation of Alpha Particle X-ray spectroscope onboard Ch-3 rover as observed from the Lander on August 29, 2023, the video said.

On a topic “What are lunar soil and rocks made of in the south polar region where Chandrayaan-3 landed? and How’s it different from other highland regions?, ISRO said these are the questions that the

Chandrayaan-3 rover is trying to find answers with its scientific instruments.

Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) onboard rover deploys down to observe the lunar sample as seen in the video, which is captured by the lander imager.

APXS instrument is best suited for in-situ analysis of the elemental composition of soil and rocks on the surface of planetary bodies having little atmosphere, such as the Moon.

It carries radioactive sources that emit alpha particles and X-rays onto the surface sample. The atoms present in the sample in turn emit characteristic X-ray lines corresponding to the elements present, it said.

By measuring the energies and intensities of these characteristic X-rays, researchers can find the elements present and their abundances, ISRO added.

APXS observations have discovered the presence of interesting minor elements, including Sulfur, apart from the major expected elements such as Aluminum, Silicon, Calcium, Iron.

It may be recalled that LIBS instrument onboard the Rover also confirmed the presence of Sulfur.

Detailed scientific analysis of these observations are in progress.

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