Although the moon has always been present in our lives, scientists are still learning a lot about it. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)'s Chandrayaan-3 will land on the moon's south pole in hopes of unraveling some of these mysteries, such as the possible presence of water ice in large impact craters, which they have succeeded in. As the lunar lander learns to traverse the surface, NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), which has been in space since 2009, has released a new mosaic image of the moon's south pole, revealing one of the most prominent craters. shed light on.
The mosaic was created using the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) aboard the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI)'s Danuri spacecraft (to be launched in 2022) and NASA's Shadow Cam. Developed by Malin Space Science Systems and Arizona State University, ShadowCam has light sensing capabilities that are 200 times more powerful than LROC. These innovations will help capture details in parts of the moon that don't receive direct light and are always in shadow. However, LROC was used for these sections of the mosaic because ShadowCam cannot image bright areas of the moon without producing saturated images.
This mosaic highlights Shackleton Crater, a large impact crater on the moon's south pole. It is 19.4 miles wide and 4.2 miles deep (more than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon). Because of its depth, scientists believe that water ice deposits can be found somewhere in this crater or the surrounding area. NASA also shared topographical maps of the moon's south pole, identifying ISRO's Chandrayaan 3 landing site with Shackleton Crater and potential landing sites for the Artemis 3 mission, a manned mission scheduled for 2025. Many studies are planned for this relatively unknown part of the moon, which will likely reveal more about its rocky surface.