When Vikram, the lander module of Chandrayaan-3, made the momentous landing on the moon’s south pole on August 23, it created a “ejecta halo” on the lunar surface.
A recent study claims that when Vikram touched down on the moon, it created a bright patch around itself and raised lunar dust.
“Results of Chandrayaan-3:” On August 23, 2023, during its descent, the Chandrayaan-3 Lander Module produced an amazing “ejecta halo” of lunar debris. About 2.06 tonnes of lunar epi regolith were ejected and moved over an area of 108.4 m² surrounding the landing site, according to estimates made by NRSC/ISRO scientists, as posted on X (previously Twitter).
These results were reported on October 26 in the Journal of the Indian Society of Remote Sensing in an article titled Characterization of Ejecta Halo on the Lunar Surface Around Chandrayaan-3 Vikram Lander Using OHRC Imagery.
On August 23, the Chandrayaan-3 mission’s Vikram lander touched down close to the moon’s south pole. The article’s abstract reads, “A significant amount of lunar surficial epi regolith material got ejected during the action of descent stage thrusters and the consequent landing, resulting in a reflectance anomaly or ejecta halo,” written by Swati Singh, Prakash Chauhan, Priyom Roy, Tapas R. Martha, and Iswar C. Das from ISRO’s National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), Hyderabad.
The ejecta halo was described by the authors as an irregular bright patch encircling the lander based on a comparison of high-resolution panchromatic imagery obtained hours before and after the landing event from the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter’s Orbiter High-Resolution Camera (OHRC).
An approximate area of 108.4 m2 is estimated to have been covered by lunar epi regolith ejecta that was displaced as a result of the Vikram lander’s landing sequence based on the mapped and classified, uncorrelated ejecta halo pixels. Additionally, we estimate that 2.06 tonnes of lunar epi regolith were ejected as a result of the landing event using empirical relations,” the authors continued.
When the lander module of the Chandrayaan-3, carrying the rover in its belly, made a gentle landing on the lunar surface on August 23, India became the fourth country to land a spacecraft on the moon and the first to land in the polar area.
Vikram and Pragyan Rover have conducted numerous in-situ measurements since landing on the moon, including confirming the existence of sulfur in the area and identifying the presence of minor elements, among other things.
Additionally, Vikram accomplished a noteworthy milestone when it executed a hop experiment successfully, causing the lander to rise itself by roughly 40 cm, ignite its engines, and land safely at a distance of 30 to 40 cm.
After one lunar day, or fourteen Earth days, the lander and rover went to bed. So far, attempts to rouse them have not been fruitful.