Rover finds sulphur, hints at oxygen presence : The Tribune India

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Rover finds sulphur, hints at oxygen presence



Tribune News Service

Shubhadeep Choudhury

New Delhi, August 29

The first data sent by a payload aboard the Pragyan rover confirmed the presence of sulphur on the lunar surface near the south pole.

Hydrogen hunt on

  • Preliminary findings show presence of aluminium, calcium, iron, manganese, silicon and oxygen
  • ISRO says it wouldn’t have been possible to confirm sulphur presence from orbiter
  • The search for hydrogen is underway, say scientists
The first data sent by a payload aboard the Pragyan rover confirmed the presence of sulphur on the lunar surface near the south pole. -PTI file

Preliminary analysis, graphically represented, has also revealed the presence of aluminium, calcium, iron, chromium and titanium on the lunar surface. Further measurements have revealed the presence of manganese, silicon and oxygen. The investigation regarding the presence of hydrogen is underway, ISRO said today.

“In situ scientific experiments continue.... The Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscope (LIBS) instrument on board the rover unambiguously confirms the presence of sulphur on the lunar surface near the south pole… aluminium, calcium, iron, chromium, titanium, manganese, silicon and oxygen have also been detected, as expected. The search for hydrogen is underway,” ISRO said in a post on X (formerly Twitter). Underscoring the importance of the Indian probe’s physical presence, ISRO scientists said it would not have been possible to confirm the presence of sulphur on the lunar surface from an orbiter. According to ISRO, the LIBS uses a scientific technique that analyses the composition of materials by exposing them to intense laser pulses.

The laser pulse generates an extremely hot and localised plasma. The collected plasma light is spectrally resolved and detected by detectors such as charge-coupled devices. Since each element emits a characteristic set of wavelengths of light when it is in a plasma state, the elemental composition of the material is determined.

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