Context: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced that Pragyan, the rover of the Chandrayaan-3 mission, has confirmed the presence of Sulphur on the moon’s surface, near its South pole.
- Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) instrument aboard the rover has made the first-ever in-situ measurements on the elemental composition of the lunar surface near the south pole.
- These in-situ measurements confirm the presence of Sulphur (S) in the region unambiguously, something that was not feasible by the instruments aboard the orbiters.
- Preliminary analyses have unveiled the presence of Aluminum (Al), Sulphur (S), Calcium (Ca), Iron (Fe), Chromium (Cr), and Titanium (Ti) on the lunar surface. Further measurements have revealed the presence of manganese (Mn), silicon (Si), and oxygen (O). A thorough investigation regarding the presence of Hydrogen is underway.
Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy instrument (LIBS):
- LIBS is a scientific technique that analyses the composition of materials by exposing them to intense laser pulses. A high-energy laser pulse is focused onto the surface of a material, such as a rock or soil, and generates localised plasma.
- The collected plasma light is spectrally resolved and detected by charge-coupled devices. Since each element emits a characteristic set of wavelengths of light when in a plasma state, the elemental composition of the material can be determined.
- In the commemoration of the Chandrayaan-3 mission, August 23 will be celebrated as National Space Day.
Source: The Hindu