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Chandrayan mission discovers new group of suprathermal protons

Chandrayan mission discovers new group of suprathermal protons

By CNR Vijaykumar Bengaluru, Jun 28 (UNI) A new group of suprathermal protons has been discovered near the Moon by the Sub-keV Atom Reflecting Analyzer (SARA) experiment on Chandrayaan-1 - the first Indian lunar mission.
These protons are found to exist on the sunlit side as well as the night side of the Moon.
These suprathermal protons are not associated with any of the known sources or processes and a detailed analysis showed that the source is located at higher altitude (more than 500 km) above the dayside lunar surface and their density and velocity distribution reveals that they are neither from interplanetary nor interstellar medium and its origin is still an enigma.
The discovery indicated that the knowledge about Moon was still limited and called for further exploration.
'These observations are also important to understand the environment of any non-magnetised body without atmosphere in our solar system as well as Exo-planetary systems' ISRO said in its website.
The SARA experiment on the Chandrayaan-1 mission was an international collaborative research experiment between Space Physics Laboratory (SPL), Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), and Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF), Kiruna, Sweden, with participation from Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), and University of Bern (UBe) Switzerland.
SARA consisted of an ion-mass analyzer, namely SWIM (Solar WInd Monitor), to measure ions in the energy range of 10 to 15000 electron volts and an energetic neutral atom sensor namely CENA (Chandrayaan-1 Energetic Neutral Analyzer) to detect low energy neutral atoms (10 to 3000 electron volts).
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