The C1XS X-ray camera, jointly developed by the UK's STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), has successfully detected its first X-ray signature from the Moon.
The C1XS camera is a Compact Imaging X-ray Spectrometer that uses x-rays to map the composition of the lunar surface and in doing so, will offer up clues as to the origin of the Moon. The C1XS X-ray spectrometer was constructed at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, UK, in collaboration with colleagues at ISRO, who designed and constructed the main Chandrayaan-1 lunar probe. The instrument is a technology development of the D-C1XS instrument which successfully conducted science operations at the Moon aboard ESA's SMART-1 mission between 2003 to 2006.
C1XS will provide high resolution coverage of the lunar surface in X-rays, and will provide an absolute measurement of the elemental abundances of the rock forming elements Mg, Al and Si under normal solar conditions and several other elements during solar flare events. This first measurement was three minutes of observation taken in the vicinity of the Apollo landing sites during a solar flare. The is measurement is also noteworthy because C1XS collected data from a source that was reportedly 20 times below its minimum effective detection threshold.
Geochemical data will allow for advances in several areas of lunar science, including a detailed study of the nature of the crust. In combination with information to be obtained by the other instruments on Chandrayaan-1 and the data already provided by the Smart-1, Clementine and Lunar Prospector missions, this information will provide a more detailed look at some of the fundamental questions that remain regarding the origin and evolution of the Moon.
From: Space Daily
- ▼ 2009 (17)