(ORDO NEWS) — Recent observations provide insight into the dynamics of the lunar exosphere and processes several tens of meters below the surface of the Moon.
The Indian automatic interplanetary station Chandrayaan-2 has discovered previously unknown events occurring under the surface of the moon. The CHACE-2 instrument aboard Chandrayaan-2 detected argon-40 in the rarefied lunar exosphere.
The new observations provide insight into the dynamics of lunar exospheric species and processes below the lunar surface, which will help to better understand the composition of the lunar surface. The latest research results are published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
Observations show the presence of argon in the equatorial and middle latitudes of the Moon. Although this is not the first time that Argon-40 has been discovered on the Moon, it was previously discovered by the Apollo 17 mission in regions near the equator.
Argon-40 is an inert, colorless and odorless element and is considered a “noble” gas. The vast majority of argon on Earth is the isotope Argon-40, which is produced from the radioactive decay of potassium-40 (K-40) present below the Moon’s surface.
According to Isro, once formed, it diffuses through the intergranular space and seeps into the lunar exosphere through faults.
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