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Business News/ Science / News/  Chandrayaan 3: ISRO says ‘ejecta halo’ formed during landing | What does it mean? Watch
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Chandrayaan 3: ISRO says ‘ejecta halo’ formed during landing | What does it mean? Watch

Chandrayaan 3 Update: According to the ISRO, scientists estimated that around 2.06 tonnes of lunar epi-regolith or material were ejected during the landing event — resulting in the formation of an 'ejecta halo' . Here's what the event signifies.

Chandrayaan 3's lander module made a successful soft landing on August 23, 2023. (ISRO)Premium
Chandrayaan 3's lander module made a successful soft landing on August 23, 2023. (ISRO)

Chandrayaan 3 Update: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) revealed on Friday that the "Chandrayaan-3 Lander Module generated a spectacular 'ejecta halo' of lunar material" as it descended towards the Moon's south pole on August 23, 2023.

In its latest post on X, formerly Twitter, the Indian space agency said scientists from the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) and the ISRO "estimate that about 2.06 tonnes of lunar epiregolith were ejected and displaced over an area of 108.4 m² around the landing site".

What does this ISRO's new "Chandrayaan-3 result" exactly mean? Read on to know as Live Mint decodes the scientific terms used by the ISRO in its latest update:

A document shared by the ISRO on X read, "During the action of descent stage thrusters and the consequent landing, a significant amount of lunar surficial epiregolith material got ejected, resulting in a reflectance anomaly or 'ejecta halo'."

This simply means that as the lander module of the Chandrayaan-3 mission descended towards the Moon's surface, it underwent descent stage thrusters and then a subsequent soft-landing happened. During this process, a significant amount of lunar surficial epiregolith material got ejected. Epiregolith is lunar rocks and soil, or regolith, or Moon dust.

As per the ISRO, scientists estimated that around 2.06 tonnes of this lunar epi-regolith or material were ejected during the landing event. The material was displaced over an area of 108.4 m² around the landing site.

This, subsequently, resulted in formation of an ‘ejecta halo’. This halo appeared "as an irregular bright patch surrounding the lander", according to the abstract of the article, authored by Swati Singh, Prakash Chauhan, Priyom Roy, Tapas R. Martha and Iswar C. Das from ISRO’s National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), Hyderabad.

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The 'ejecta halo' was analysed by these researches and the findings were published in the "Journal of the Indian Society of Remote Sensing". The study was titled "Characterisation of Ejecta Halo on the Lunar Surface Around Chandrayaan-3 Vikram Lander Using OHRC Imagery".

"We compared the pre- and post-landing high-resolution panchromatic imagery from Orbiter High-Resolution Camera (OHRC) of the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter, acquired hours before and after the landing event and characterised this ‘ejecta halo’," the article read.

The article further read, "From the mapped and classified, uncorrelated ‘ejecta halo’ pixels, an approximate areal extent of 108.4 m2 is estimated to have been covered by lunar epiregolith ejecta displaced due to the landing sequence of the Vikram lander. Further, using empirical relations, we estimate that approximately 2.06 tonnes of lunar epiregolith were ejected due to the landing event."

ALSO READ: Chandrayaan 3: A glossary of words you need to know

The Chandrayaan-3 mission's Vikram lander made a successful soft landing on the south pole of the lunar surface on August 23, 2023. With this, India became the first country to have achieved this historic feat — of the soft landing on the Moon. It also became the fourth country — after the US, China, and Russia — to have successfully landed on the moon's surface.

How this Chandrayaan-3 result is significant?

According to Business Today, the study offers "valuable insights into the implications of lunar landings on Moon's intricate surface". Meanwhile, the Economic Times reported that this "discovery sheds light on the behaviour of lunar materials during such events and opens up new avenues for research and understanding lunar geology".

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Published: 27 Oct 2023, 05:58 PM IST
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