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Current Affairs

Argon-40 discovery on Moon

Date: 15 March 2022 Tags: Space

Issue

CHACE-2 on board Chandrayaan-2 has managed to find traces of Argon-40 in the tenuous lunar exosphere.

 

Background

 

Details

  • The study has managed to find out evidences of Argon in the equatorial and mid-latitude regions of the Moon. 

  • Argon has been previously identified but was limited to near-equatorial regions as seen by the Apollo-17 mission.

 

Findings

The density of Argon-40 increases near the sunrise terminator, decreases along the dayside, shows a secondary peak near the sunset terminator, and a night-side minimum. 

 

Significance

The observations provide insights into the lunar exospheric species and activities which would help in understanding the composition of the lunar surface. 

 

Chandra’s Atmospheric Composition Explorer-2 (CHACE-2)

  • The CHACE-2 is an upgradation of the CHACE experiment on the Moon Impact Probe (MIP) of Chandrayaan-1 mission.

  • Its main aim is to provide insight on the dynamics of lunar exospheric species as well as on the radiogenic activities below the lunar surface.

 

Argon-40

  • Argon is an inert, odorless and colorless noble gas. The majority of the gas on earth is in form of isotope Argon-40.

  • Argon-40 is formed due to radioactive disintegration of Potassium-40 (K-40) present below the surface. 

 

Applications

It is used in a wide range of industrial applications like welding and lighting purposes, in food & drink industry and in healthcare.