India’s ‘Chandrayaan-3’ lunar rover detects oxygen, sulfur, titanium, aluminum, and more elements on the moon’s surface

On Tuesday, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced a significant breakthrough: India’s lunar rover ‘Pragyan’ has successfully detected elements like oxygen, aluminum, and sulfur in the vicinity of the moon’s southern pole. Additionally, ISRO is currently working on confirming the presence of hydrogen in the same region.

This remarkable discovery was made possible through the use of the Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) tool onboard the Chandrayaan-3 rover. The LIBS technique involves the utilization of powerful laser pulses to scrutinize materials. These pulses impact the material’s surface, generating a localized, high-temperature plasma. The emitted light from this plasma is then measured and analyzed using specialized instruments. Because different elements emit distinctive light wavelengths when in a plasma state, scientists can identify their presence and composition.

Based on ISRO’s initial investigations, they have detected elements such as aluminum (Al), sulfur (S), calcium (Ca), iron (Fe), chromium (Cr), and titanium (Ti) on the moon’s surface. Further research has unveiled the presence of manganese (Mn), silicon (Si), and oxygen (O).

These findings mark a significant advancement, particularly since previous orbital instruments were unable to provide such precise information regarding the presence of sulfur in this specific lunar region.

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