On August 23, 2023, Chandrayaan-3 successfully landed on the south pole of the moon. Soon after its landing, the rover started its mobility operations.
According to the latest report, the Lander Module payload ChaSTE (Chandra’s Surface Thermophysical Experiment) made its first observations.
To better understand the thermal behavior of the moon’s surface, ChaSTE measures the temperature profile of the lunar topsoil surrounding the pole. It has a temperature probe with a controlled penetration mechanism that can pierce the surface to a depth of 10 cm. There are ten separate temperature sensors on the probe.
ISRO shared a graph illustrating the temperature variations of the lunar surface/ near-surface at various depths, as recorded during the probe’s penetration.
The results demonstrate that while the surface temperature is 50°C, it rapidly drops to -10°C only 8 cm below the surface!
This finding raises the possibility of discovering water ice beneath the surface close to the Moon’s South Pole!