Chandrayaan-2 has mapped an abundance of sodium on the moon for the first time. While providing an avenue to study surface-exosphere interaction on the moon, the new findings would aid development of similar models for mercury and other airless bodies in our solar system and beyond.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced that the X-ray spectrometer ‘CLASS’ on the Chandrayaan-2, which has been hovering around the Moon since 2019, has mapped an abundance of sodium on the moon for the first time.
By detecting sodium from its characteristic line in X-rays, Chandrayaan-1 X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometer (C1XS) has opened up the possibility of mapping the amount of sodium on the Moon.
Thanks to its high sensitivity and performance, Chandrayaan-2 Large Area Soft X-ray Spectrometer or CLASS, built at the UR Rao Satellite Centre of ISRO, provides clean signatures of the sodium line.
Chandrayaan-2 had earlier discovered that the Moons ionosphere has a plasma density in the wake region.