Chandrayaan-2, which is currently orbiting the Moon, has sent back colourful images showing the impact craters, which could help in further understanding the evolution of Earth’s Satellite. The images were taken by Chandrayaan-2’s Dual-Frequency Synthetic Aperture Radar (DF-SAR) on board, and give a more detailed look at the impact craters.
Moon has many impact craters on its surface, formed due to meteorites, asteroids and comets that have bombarded it since its formation. The images come even as NASA in a statement said that there was no sign of the Vikram Lander. NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), in its October 14 flyby over the Moon’s south polar region, was unable to find any evidence of India’s Chandrayaan-2’s Vikram lander.
“The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter imaged the area of the targeted Chandrayaan-2 Vikram landing site on October 14 but did not observe any evidence of the lander,” Noah Edward Petro, the Project Scientist for the LRO mission, told PTI in an email. Earlier it was speculated that the Vikram lander could be hidden in the shadows in the crater filled region.
Impact craters are approximately circular depressions on the surface of the moon, ranging from small bowl-shaped depressions to larger and complex multi-ringed impact basins. According to ISRO, the study of the nature, size, distribution and composition of impact craters and associated ejecta features will help reveal valuable information about the origin and evolution of craters.
The images shared by Chandraayan-2 are designed to produce greater details about the morphology and ejecta materials of impact craters due to the images being of a higher resolution. More importantly the SAR on Chandraayan-2 is using the L& S band which can produce greater details about the morphology and ejecta materials of impact craters. This allows for higher resolution images. The L Band has a greater depth penetration(3-5 meters), which enables probing the buried terrain at greater depths.
In a press statement, ISRO explained that the Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) is a more powerful remote sensing instrument for studying planetary surfaces and subsurface because the radar signal can penetrate the surface. The SAR is also sensitive to roughness, structure and composition of the surface material and the buried terrain.