Chandrayaan-1 detects first X-ray signal from moon

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Bangalore, Jan 24: The camera on Chandrayaan-1, first unmanned moon mission, detected the first X-ray signal from moon, the Indian Space Research Organisation said on Friday, Jan 23.

"The first X-ray signature was detected from a region near the Apollo landing sites Dec 12 at 02:36 universal time. The solar flare that caused the X-ray fluorescence was exceedingly weak, about 20 times smaller than the minimum the CIXS imaging spectrometer was designed to detect," the space agency said in a statement.

The sophisticated instrument was jointly developed by ISRO and Britain's Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.

"The detection is Chandrayaan's first step to reveal the origin and evolution of the moon by mapping its surface composition. The X-ray camera collected three minutes of data from the moon just as the flare started and the camera finished its observation," ISRO said.

An X-ray is a form of electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength in the range of 10-0.01 nanometers. The X-ray wavelength corresponds to frequencies in the range of 20 pet hertz to 30 exahertz. X-rays are also shorter than ultraviolet rays.

"The joint development and operationalisation of the camera is a major achievement. First signatures obtained from the spectrometer are encouraging," ISRO chairman G. Madhavan Nair said in the statement.

OneIndia News (With inputs from Agencies)

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