Moonquake? ISRO's Chandrayaan-3 Vikram Lander Spots Unusual Motion

With the Chandrayaan-3 mission, ISRO dives deep into lunar mysteries, potentially uncovering the Moon's first recorded seismic activity. What does this mean for lunar exploration?

Moonquake? ISRO's Chandrayaan-3 Vikram Lander Spots Unusual Motion

Friday September 01, 2023,

2 min Read

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) recently hinted at a potential seismic activity on the Moon. This intriguing discovery comes from the Chandrayaan-3 mission's Vikram lander, which has been conducting experiments on the lunar surface.

The Instrument for Lunar Seismic Activity (ILSA), a cutting-edge tool onboard the Vikram lander, made this detection possible. Impressively, ILSA is the Moon’s inaugural instrument developed using Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) technology. Its innovative design, complete with six state-of-the-art accelerometers, plays a crucial role in gauging vibrations. The tool’s design is such that external tremors cause its internal spring to move. This movement then gets translated into an electric signal, offering insights into the nature and magnitude of the tremor.

The prime goal of ILSA is to gauge tremors - whether they’re natural like quakes, or are a result of impacts or even man-made activities. "Vibrations from the Pragyan rover's movement on August 25 were easily detected. However, another event that occurred a day later on August 26, 2023, which seems to be of natural origin, is currently being closely studied," mentioned ISRO.

Moreover, ISRO revealed another fascinating discovery through the Vikram lander’s other device, named the Radio Anatomy of Moon Bound Hypersensitive Ionosphere and Atmosphere. This instrument observed plasma particles in the lunar South Pole region, with initial observations pointing to a less dense plasma environment near the lunar surface.

The Chandrayaan-3 mission has been in the limelight since its successful landing on the Moon on August 23. Notably, it’s enhancing our understanding of the Moon, especially the South Pole region. A case in point is the recent confirmation by the Pragyan rover about the presence of sulphur in the region, using a different methodology.

These discoveries by ISRO not only showcase India's progressing space capabilities but also contribute significantly to the global scientific community's understanding of the Moon. As the mission progresses, the world is keenly watching for more insights and revelations from Chandrayaan-3.