Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, like Moon Impact Probe (MIP) and Hyper-Spectral Imager (HySI) from ISRO as well as Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) and Miniature Synthetic Aperture Radar (Mini-SAR) through NASA to collect relevant data from the lunar surface. During the mission, excellent quality of data from all these instruments has been obtained. While M3 has covered nearly 97% of the lunar surface, some of the other instruments have covered more than 90%.
detailed analysis of the data obtained from M3, which has clearly indicated the presence of water molecules on the lunar surface extending from lunar poles to about 60 deg. Latitude. Hydroxyl, a molecule consisting of one oxygen atom and one hydrogen atom, was also found in the lunar soil. The confirmation of water molecules and hydroxyl molecule in the moon's polar regions raises new questions about its origin and its effect on the mineralogy of the moon.
A three colour composite of near-infrared reflected solar radiation for the lunar nearside illustrating the spatial extent of diagnostic absorption measured by M-cube.
Blue colour indicates 3 micron absorption associated with presence of OH/water Red indicates absorption at 2 micron due to the presence of iron-bearing minerals The green represent reflected brightness at 2.4 micron.
During this particular observation detection of volatiles is most prominent at higher cooler latitudes.
The presence of volatiles appears to be a function of the surface radiation and thermal environment.
The realization seems to have dawned that 45 years of research into the origins of life has led to a dead end. The same old intractable problems—if not more—still exist, with no resolution in sight. No...