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India’s Chandrayaan 2 is Creating the Highest Resolution Map We Have of the Moon

Zapper

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India’s space organization, ISRO, launched Chandrayaan 2 to the Moon last year in July. While its lander Vikram crashed on the lunar surface on September 7, the Chandrayaan 2 orbiter continues to orbit the Moon.

The Chandrayaan 2 orbiter hosts an extensive set of instruments to map the Moon and now we get a peek at the data it has sent. ISRO scientists had submitted a raft of initial results from the orbiter’s mapping instruments to present at the flagship 51st Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in March. This is an annual conference hosted in the United States where more than 2000 planetary scientists and students from across the world attend and present their latest work. However, due to concerns about the Novel Coronavirus, the conference has been cancelled.


Seeing a crater in the dark ::


Chandrayaan 2 orbiter has an optical camera called the Orbiter High-Resolution Camera (OHRC) which captures detailed images of the Moon. OHRC can image at a best resolution of 0.25 meters/pixel, beating NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter’s (LRO) best of 0.5 meters/pixel.

Back in October, we already saw OHRC flex its muscles by sending images where boulders less than 1 meter in size were clearly visible. And now OHRC has demonstrated imaging an area not directly illuminated by sunlight! It captured an image of a crater floor in shadow by seeing the dim light falling on it that has been reflected from the crater rim!

Moving ahead, this capability will be used to image insides of craters on the lunar poles, where sunlight never reaches. Mapping the terrain of polar craters is important because future lunar habitats are believed to be stationed near them, transporting water and other resources from inside them.


Highest resolution 3D maps ::

The Terrain Mapping Camera (TMC 2) onboard Chandrayaan 2 is a stereo imager, meaning it can capture 3D images. It does that by imaging the same site from three different angles, akin to NASA’s LRO, from which a 3D image is constructed.

TMC 2 has beamed back images taken from 100 km above the lunar surface and the 3D views generated from them look great. Here is one of a crater and a wrinkled ridge, the latter being a tectonic feature.

Such images are very useful for understanding how lunar features form and get their shape. For example, a 3D image can help construct an accurate picture of the geometry of the impact that formed a crater.

Over time, Chandrayaan 2 will provide the highest resolution 3D images of the entire Moon, the best case resolution being 5 meters/pixel.


Enhanced eyes in the infrared ::

The Imaging Infrared Spectrometer (IIRS) on Chandrayaan 2 is the successor to the famous Moon Mineralogical Mapper (M3) instrument onboard Chandrayaan 1.

The M3 instrument, which was contributed by NASA, has been publicly acknowledged for its excellent mineral mapping capabilities and detection of water on the Moon. Noah Petro, Project Scientist for LRO, recently noted on Twitter:

“10 years ago today Chandrayaan-1 ended. I was so lucky to be a small part of that mission. The M3 instrument allowed us to take a huge step forward in learning about the composition of our 8th continent!”
– Noah Petro, Project Scientist for LRO, on Twitter.

Both IIRS and M3 detect reflected sunlight from the Moon’s surface. Scientists identify minerals on the surface based on the patterns of these reflections. The IIRS boasts nearly twice the sensitivity of M3 in infrared light and the initial results demonstrate to that effect. Here are images of the Glauber crater as seen by IIRS and M3 respectively.

Thanks to M3, scientists now know that the lunar soil does hold trace amounts of water and hydroxyl molecules even in non-polar regions. IIRS onboard Chandrayaan 2 will map water concentrations in the lunar soil with improved sensitivity. Chandrayaan 2’s long-term observations aim to discern how the water content in the lunar soil changes in response to the lunar environment i.e. what the lunar water cycle looks like.

Note that all this is still less amount of water than the driest deserts on Earth. However, the lunar poles host appreciably more water. And that is where Chandrayaan 2’s radar comes into the picture.


Quantifying water on the Moon ::

The Dual Frequency Synthetic Aperture Radar (DFSAR) onboard the Chandrayaan 2 orbiter is the successor to the Miniature Synthetic Aperture Radar (Mini-SAR) on Chandrayaan 1. DFSAR penetrates the Moon’s surface twice as deeper than Mini-SAR. Not just that, DFSAR also boasts a higher resolution than the radar onboard LRO called Mini-RF. The initial results demonstrate as much, comparing a DFSAR radar image of region with Mini-RF.

With greater penetration depth and higher resolution than any prior instruments, Chandrayaan 2’s orbiter is in the process of adequately quantifying just how much water ice is trapped beneath the permanently dark crater floors on the Moon’s poles. Current estimates based on past observations suggest that the Moon’s poles host more than 600 billion kg of water ice, equivalent to at least 240,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.


What’s next?

The lunar science and exploration communities agree that we can harness water ice on the Moon’s poles to power future lunar habitats. Using solar power generated by the habitats, we can also split the water ice into hydrogen and oxygen for use as rocket fuel.

But before we plan habitats at the Moon’s poles, we need to know more about the nature of water ice in these regions and how to access it given their terrain. The initial results from Chandrayaan 2 clearly show the promise of the highest resolution mapper ever sent to the Moon. ISRO has stated that Chandrayaan 2 will orbit the Moon for seven years and that should be ample time to fully map and quantify water and their host regions on the Moon.

Surface missions that explore these water-hosting permanently shadowed regions, like NASA’s upcoming VIPER rover, are the next logical step towards sustainable habitats on the Moon. As we develop technologies that tap into water ice on the Moon, we can colonize not just our celestial neighbor but the Solar System. We should be glad our Moon has plenty of water; we can’t keep dragging everything out of Earth’s gravitational well forever.

https://www.universetoday.com/14535...e-highest-resolution-map-we-have-of-the-moon/
 

Mingburnu

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Will this be enough to find where your moon lander crashed and broke up?
 

Khanivore

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Chandrayaan 2 orbiter has an optical camera called the Orbiter High-Resolution Camera (OHRC) which captures detailed images of the Moon. OHRC can image at a best resolution of 0.25 meters/pixel, beating NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter’s (LRO) best of 0.5 meters/pixel.
We want to see HIGH RES pictures of the entire surface of the moon. Is ISRO going to do same as NASA and China and conceal the high-res pictures of the moon?
 

Mingburnu

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Never mock someone on something when your own contribution in the field is next to nothing. You'll become the butt of the jokes.
So where is it then, the successful 'soft landing' spot. And by the way, while you are at it, get a high reso image of Delhi.

While SUPARCO is still learning to launch Chinese made fire-crackers from a 5 storey building
You once used to do the same with Russian hard-ware:
"Several countries helped India in achieving its space capabilities; the U.S. gave initial sounding rockets to India to launch from Thumba, while the USSR Academy of Sciences provided initial low-orbit satellite subsystems and Soviet launch vehicles and Europe (particularly France) provided the geostationary satellite launch capability with the Ariane family of rockets.
NASA loaned its Applications Technology Satellite-6 (ATS-6) to ISRO in 1975 for one year for the Satellite Instructional Television Experiment (SITE), a project that aimed to bring educational TV shows and programs to viewers in the rural villages of India. The cost of the ATS-6 mission was comparable to the average cost of an Apollo lunar landing mission, around $400 million. The famous rocket scientist Wernher von Braun was instrumental in arranging this one-year loan to India, which was then emerging as a developing economy.
India's first indigenously built satellite, Aryabhata, launched on a Soviet rocket in 1975, with the purpose of conducting experiments in X-ray astronomy and solar physics. Then, in 1979, ISRO launched its second mission, called Bhaskara, which included two Earth-observation satellites. While India's first two satellites were launched to low Earth orbit (LEO) on Soviet launchers....."
Source: Dr. Ravi Sharma
Chinese made fire-crackers
Pls dont mock Chinese space achievements. They are far ahead of you.
 

Zapper

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Pls dont mock Chinese space achievements. They are far ahead of you.
Looks like you've got serious comprehension issues, local Chinese firecracker companies are still better than SUPARCO

You once used to do the same with Russian hard-ware:
"Several countries helped India in achieving its space capabilities; the U.S. gave initial sounding rockets to India to launch from Thumba, while the USSR Academy of Sciences provided initial low-orbit satellite subsystems and Soviet launch vehicles and Europe (particularly France) provided the geostationary satellite launch capability with the Ariane family of rockets.
NASA loaned its Applications Technology Satellite-6 (ATS-6) to ISRO in 1975 for one year for the Satellite Instructional Television Experiment (SITE), a project that aimed to bring educational TV shows and programs to viewers in the rural villages of India. The cost of the ATS-6 mission was comparable to the average cost of an Apollo lunar landing mission, around $400 million. The famous rocket scientist Wernher von Braun was instrumental in arranging this one-year loan to India, which was then emerging as a developing economy.
India's first indigenously built satellite, Aryabhata, launched on a Soviet rocket in 1975, with the purpose of conducting experiments in X-ray astronomy and solar physics. Then, in 1979, ISRO launched its second mission, called Bhaskara, which included two Earth-observation satellites. While India's first two satellites were launched to low Earth orbit (LEO) on Soviet launchers....."
Just to soothe your nerves, if you feel ISRO's current achievements are due to former help from USSR or NASa...let it be since we're now at a stage to compete and exceed some of the best space agencies in the world while providing extremely cost effective solutions unlike SUPARCO which is nothing but a dud

Atleast unlike daddy China, we did not steal tech to develop our own but achieved it through mutual collaboration or completely developing from scratch

So where is it then, the successful 'soft landing' spot. And by the way, while you are at it, get a high reso image of Delhi.
Alright you ignorant troll, these are some of the first images from CARTOSAT back in 2018




https://www.isro.gov.in/update/16-jan-2018/first-day-image-cartosat-2-series-satellite

CARTOSAT-3

https://www.isro.gov.in/high-resolu...observed-cartosat-3-calibration-validation-of
 

Aryan0395

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Mingburnu

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Alright you ignorant troll, these are some of the first images from CARTOSAT back in 2018
Lol. You actually shared images of Delhi! This shows the level of your comprehension. If you were still not in 5th grade, you would have realized that the remark was meant to hoghlight the blood spilled by medieval, sword-bearing mobs in your capital over the span of two days. Your police and doval led agencies were and still are clueless about what happened.
Have fun spending life in imbecile-infantile stage.
 

Zapper

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Lol. You actually shared images of Delhi! This shows the level of your comprehension. If you were still not in 5th grade, you would have realized that the remark was meant to hoghlight the blood spilled by medieval, sword-bearing mobs in your capital over the span of two days. Your police and doval led agencies were and still are clueless about what happened.
Have fun spending life in imbecile-infantile stage.
The reason I referred you as a "troll" is I know for a fact you'd resort to derailing the thread when you don't have a counter-argument where your counterpart is a dud and would bring up hate, rape or toilet which most members on pdf do and I have no intention to engage in such futile conversations. Secondly, I did not share any image of Delhi but the resolution of what our satellites could generate and advancements we've made in space-tech since I wanted to stick to the core topic
 
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