ISRO Chandrayaan-2 Beams Back Moon’s Impact Crater Images


ISRO's Chandrayaan-2 has provided a new set of pictures of the Moon's impact craters. The Indian Space Research Organisation posted an image on its official Twitter handle. The picture was captured by the DF-SAR (Dual Frequency-Synthetic Aperture Radar) on the Chandrayaan-2 Orbiter. The image contributes to understanding the Moon's formation.


Chandrayaan-2 Latest Update

The latest image by the Chandrayaan-2 tells us that the Moon has been continuously shelled by meteorites, comets, and asteroids, which has been pivotal to its surface formation. ISRO notes that these impact craters are circular depressions in varied shapes and sizes ranging from simple, small, bowl-shaped to multi-ringed, large, and complex impact craters.

"The study of the nature, size, distribution, and composition of impact craters and associated ejecta features reveal valuable information about the origin and evolution of craters," ISRO said in the Chandrayaan-2's news update. ISRO explains that the weathering process also involves layering by regolith, meaning sand, loose rock, dust, soil cover, and more, to create a hard surface over the ejecta material. This type of hard surface makes it undetectable with optical cameras.

For the same reason, ISRO uses SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar), which is a powerful remote sensing instrument to observe the Moon's surface and the subsurface. The radar signal penetrates the surface and can sense roughness, structure, composition, and furnish more details about the surface material.

ISRO Chanrayaan-2 Craters

ISRO Chandrayaan-2 Beams Back Moon's Images


ISRO further explains: "This image presents many interesting facts about the secondary craters of different ages and origins in the lunar south polar region." Going into the details, the yellowish tone found on the crater rim shows the ejecta fields. ISRO states that the nature of the impact is indicated whether the ejecta fields are uniformly distributed in all directions or concentrated towards one side.

For instance, ISRO points out the three similar-sized craters. However, these three craters are aged differently, where one is a young crater, another moderately weathered crater, and lastly an old degraded crater, ISRO noted. Some more craters are invisible in the high-resolution picture as they are buried deep below, the space agency said.

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